Cab firm blind to impending guide dog law suit

by Mark James on March 5, 2011

A blind woman has successfully sued a taxi cab firm after they forced her to pay extra to transport her guide dog.

Yvonne Saint-John of Glinton, Peterborough, claimed that she was ripped off by Eagle Cars, who she said had been overcharged several times by the heartless cab hire company, including one instance where she was stung for an extra £2.50 in case her black Labrador, Quaid, had left any hairs on the car seats which would require cleaning up.

Mrs Saint-John said of the incident:

“I rely on my guide dog to get from A to B and to have a social life. He is my lifeline and it’s not fair to be charged extra.

“It had never happened before. My dog hardly moves once he is in the cab to drop any hairs, so it was ridiculous to charge me more.”

Incensed, Yvonne, who is a grandmother, brought the matter to the attention of council officials in Peterborough.

Eagle cars was hauled before magistrates and ordered to stump up £900 in compensation to Mrs Saint-John.

There is disability discrimination legislation in place which bans any such firms for imposing an extra charge for guide dogs. Quaid will have been chosen to be a guide dog as a puppy. Training for such an important job is intense, and many dogs don’t make the grade.

Mrs Saint-John said of her victory:

“I thought twice about speaking out as I did not want to be further victimised but I feel this sends a strong message to other disabled people.”

Eagle Cars has so far refused to comment on the matter.

We at Dream Dogs think that Quaid will no doubt share in the windfall, with maybe a brand new dog bed and lots of dog toys.

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