PHOENIX -- Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today the Civil Rights Division of the Arizona Attorney General's Office has filed an Arizonans with Disabilities Act lawsuit against Obrigis, LLC d/b/a O’Brien’s Sports Bar. Under Arizona law, a person or entity that operates a public place shall not discriminate against individuals with disabilities who use service animals if the tasks performed by the service animal are directly related to the individual's disability.
Bill Larson, is a veteran of the Air Force Reserves. Larson has a brain injury which causes him to experience transient ischemic attacks (colloquially referred to as “mini-strokes”). His American Bulldog "Whopper" is a service animal, trained to detect the onset of a transient ischemic attack and alert Larson so that he may take steps to ensure his safety and the safety of others (e.g., pulling off to the side of the road if he is driving).
On Friday, October 25, 2019, the Arizona Civil Rights Division (“Division”) filed a civil complaint against Obrigis, LLC d/b/a O’Brien’s Sports Bar, in Maricopa County Superior Court. O’Brien’s is a sports bar located in Phoenix, Arizona.
On or about January 16, 2018, Larson and Whopper visited O’Brien’s Sports Bar. The owner of O’Brien’s Sports Bar, in addition to the bartender, told Larson that he was not allowed in the bar with his dog. Larson attempted to explain that he was disabled and that Whopper was a service dog, but he still was refused service. The Attorney General’s lawsuit alleges that O’Brien’s Sports Bar violated the Arizonans with Disabilities Act by ordering Larson to leave the establishment because of his service dog.
“Under Arizona law, all Arizonans have the right to full and equal enjoyment of places of public accommodation,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Disabled individuals who require the use of a service animal cannot be excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of their need for reasonable accommodations.”
The State is requesting injunctive relief against O’Brien’s Sports Bar, to include instituting, implementing, and enforcing policies, practices, and programs that provide equal treatment for all individuals, including those with disabilities, and training for employees regarding disability discrimination and reasonable accommodations.
The mission of the Civil Rights Division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office is to enforce civil rights laws, increase public awareness of civil rights, provide dispute resolution services, and offer community services throughout the State. If you believe you’ve been discriminated against in housing, employment, public accommodations, or voting, please contact our office at (602)542-5263 or submit an intake questionnaire at www.azag.gov/complaints/civil-rights.
Copy of filing.