Passenger sues Delta and pet owner after emotional support dog attacks him

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pennyk

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A passenger traveling on a 2017 Delta flight is suing the airline and a pet owner, claiming that an emotional support dog bit him in an attack that left permanent damage to his face.

Marlin Jackson of Alabama filed the lawsuit over the June 2017 incident on Friday. He’s accusing the airline and the dog owner, a U.S. Marine, of negligence and demanding an unspecified amount of damages.
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/passenger-sues-delta-and-pet-owner-after-emotional-support-dog-attacks-him_n_5cef221de4b00cfa1965cbc0?ncid=engmodushpmg00000006
 

RichieRich

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Isn't it time to simply stop ALL ANIMALs on-board? (planes, trains, buses) The A/T is full of these "support" animals. And remember it is an overnite non-stop (Ok- 10 minutes at 1:00am in Florence).
 

Acela150

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Isn't it time to simply stop ALL ANIMALs on-board? (planes, trains, buses) The A/T is full of these "support" animals. And remember it is an overnite non-stop (Ok- 10 minutes at 1:00am in Florence).
I doubt that they are "Emotional Support Animals". Simply cause Amtrak policy doesn't allow them. Only Service Animals. And if you have an issue with Service Animals talk to the Feds about the ADA law.
 

AmtrakBlue

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I doubt that they are "Emotional Support Animals". Simply cause Amtrak policy doesn't allow them. Only Service Animals. And if you have an issue with Service Animals talk to the Feds about the ADA law.
Or talk to the people he wants to discriminate against and find out why service dogs should be allowed on public transportation.
Don’t take it out on those who benefit from service animals because of the jerks who feel entitled to abuse the system.
 

Acela150

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Or talk to the people he wants to discriminate against and find out why service dogs should be allowed on public transportation.
Don’t take it out on those who benefit from service animals because of the jerks who feel entitled to abuse the system.
Sadly in these current times many people feel they're entitled to something for the stupidest reasons. It's a shame. Cause you're right. The people that think they're entitled will ruin something for people who actually have a need.
 

RichieRich

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I doubt that they are "Emotional Support Animals". Simply cause Amtrak policy doesn't allow them. Only Service Animals. And if you have an issue with Service Animals talk to the Feds about the ADA law.
LOL LOL "Doesn't allow them"??? I've had my fill of "whatever" animals on Amtrak. I've seen enough that are sneaked on into the bedrooms. And a "service animal" Dr. note is about as hard as getting a "marijuana" as medication note! LOL LOL
 

railiner

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I see the main problem being there is no easy way for a carrier to identify what are true trained service animal's, and what are just pets.
The solution would be some kind of standardized 'license' for properly trained service animal's, to leave no doubt...
 

MARC Rider

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I doubt that they are "Emotional Support Animals". Simply cause Amtrak policy doesn't allow them. Only Service Animals. And if you have an issue with Service Animals talk to the Feds about the ADA law.
Actually, you need to talk to yor Congressperson and Senators. "The Feds" can't do much more than administer the Acts of Congress, which is what the ADA is.
 

AmtrakBlue

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I see the main problem being there is no easy way for a carrier to identify what are true trained service animal's, and what are just pets.
The solution would be some kind of standardized 'license' for properly trained service animal's, to leave no doubt...
Which puts the burden on the people who benefit from having a service dog.

We already know how much people love having to deal with security lines at airports, stadiums, buildings, etc because of the “bad” guys. People who claim their precious pup is a service dog are also the “bad” guys.
 

Acela150

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I see the main problem being there is no easy way for a carrier to identify what are true trained service animal's, and what are just pets.
The solution would be some kind of standardized 'license' for properly trained service animal's, to leave no doubt...
I believe true service animals have some type of proof that they are a service animal. The only thing that a conductor can say to someone with a service animal is something along the lines of "what major life activity does you animal help you do". That's the only as defined by law one can ask.
 

AmtrakBlue

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I believe true service animals have some type of proofthat they are a service animal. The only thing that a conductor can say to someone with a service animal is something along the lines of "what major life activity does you animal help you do". That's the only as defined by law one can ask.
I don't think so.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I believe true service animals have some type of proof that they are a service animal.
No employee can ask for any proof, by design. Nor is there any proof to provide, by design. If you ask for proof anyway there will be hell to pay, by design. The people behind the ADA decided long ago that allowing the wrong kind of animal is preferable to allowing staff to ask for proof of anything. This whole debate is ridiculous but it was also entirely predictable. The people behind ADA rules and guidelines created this problem by tying the hands of those tasked with enforcing it. As currently implemented the animal has to be witnessed doing something obviously disruptive or threatening to legally safeguard an employee who endeavors to remove them. Unfortunately this means that there is a risk it will be too late to prevent harm to others. The people who manage and maintain the ADA will need to be persuaded to fix this problem with new guidelines that acknowledge and address the potential for rampant misuse. Or they can just sit back and do nothing until the tide eventually turns against them. I never thought I'd harbor anti-ADA sentiment but here we are.
 
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AmtrakBlue

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Since there is no official proof (paper, card, etc), an employee should be able remove anyone who shows “proof” when asked about their “service” animal because that “proof” is fake.
 

Michigan Mom

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My position is that no animals, outside of legitimate, actual service animals, belong in trains, planes, grocery stores, or restaurants.
 

Ryan

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Isn't it time to simply stop ALL ANIMALs on-board? (planes, trains, buses)
No. As the dogpile has already indicated, many count on them to be able to function in society. Perhaps if you were similarly disadvantaged, your tune would change.

My position is that no animals, outside of legitimate, actual service animals, belong in trains, planes, grocery stores, or restaurants.
I’m perfectly willing to leave it up to business owners. Feel free to not patronize establishments that welcome pets, but to need to impose your will on others that feel differently.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I no longer concern myself with worrying about the reasons someone may want to bring a particular animal or pet. As a practical matter it's difficult if not impossible for a clerk or cashier to reliably establish a genuine motive in a timely fashion. That's why I've changed my view to focusing on whether the animal is able to coexist quietly and peacefully without causing any problems. If someone wants a pet just because it feels good then so long as the pet is trained and tempered to avoid any trouble I don't really have a problem with it. I find this to be good common ground approach but making such a determination would most likely require some sort of certification and verification process to be practical, and the ADA as currently implemented actively prevents this.
 

Michigan Mom

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So what is the thought, about the pet who attacks a legitimate service animal, or a person? Ryan, if your dog allows you to function in society but chews off half of my face, I'm just not going to agree with the position you have articulated. I like Devil's common ground approach except for many people there is a question of allergic reaction, and basic sanitary safeguards. Also as DA has stated the current ADA would need some clarification and amendment to allow for verification of service animal status etc.
It may interest people to know that in developing countries there are numerous adverse health conditions that arise from people living in close proximity to animals. This is not to say that your pet will make you or anyone sick. It does argue for health departments establishing rules and limiting animals from common areas, food sources, etc. There has to be a way to manage risks. Train travel, already inherently longer than plane travel, and less flexible than car travel, is the least ideal situation for animals.
 

Thirdrail7

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I’m perfectly willing to leave it up to business owners. Feel free to not patronize establishments that welcome pets, but to need to impose your will on others that feel differently.
That is the best approach. However, in Amtrak's case, it was forced upon them. When they were given leeway, service animals were allowed but not comfort animals or pets. At this points, pets were forced upon them. Although there are restrictions, they are routinely circumvented.

How long until someone sues for comfort animals on trains?
 

saxman

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I think some of us are mixing up service animals vs. emotional support animals vs. a pet. Service animals are highly trained, ADA compliant, to assist those with a disability. They are always well behaved and they allowed to be anywhere a person is allowed.

The main abuse comes from emotional support animals. These were meant to provide people to help them cope with issues, such as PTSD, or other mental states. Yet now it's being abused because the laws are very relaxed and anyone with a computer can go online and print an emotional support certificate. It crossed the line when someone brought an emotional support turkey on a Delta flight a few years. The turkey had it's own seat!! I've seen numerous people walking around the airports with their tiny dog and they bought a "service animal" vest and put it on their tiny dog Fee-Fee, while she goes to the bathroom on the floor. A real service animal won't do that. It's these people that are undermining it for people that actually need service and emotional support animals.

Then there's those with pets that need to travel with them and pay the fee that's required. They must stay in their carrier at all times and ride under the seat or be checked as an animal in the cargo hold.
 

Barb Stout

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I think some of us are mixing up service animals vs. emotional support animals vs. a pet. Service animals are highly trained, ADA compliant, to assist those with a disability. They are always well behaved and they allowed to be anywhere a person is allowed.

The main abuse comes from emotional support animals. These were meant to provide people to help them cope with issues, such as PTSD, or other mental states. Yet now it's being abused because the laws are very relaxed and anyone with a computer can go online and print an emotional support certificate. It crossed the line when someone brought an emotional support turkey on a Delta flight a few years. The turkey had it's own seat!! I've seen numerous people walking around the airports with their tiny dog and they bought a "service animal" vest and put it on their tiny dog Fee-Fee, while she goes to the bathroom on the floor. A real service animal won't do that. It's these people that are undermining it for people that actually need service and emotional support animals.

Then there's those with pets that need to travel with them and pay the fee that's required. They must stay in their carrier at all times and ride under the seat or be checked as an animal in the cargo hold.
There isn't any special licensing or anything required for a service animal either. I worked with a lady who had a "service" dog who supposedly helped her with her balance. I can tell you from being around her a lot, the need was almost totally fake. The dog was trained by her to do just the basic stuff like "sit' and "stay" which the dog didn't necessarily follow anyways. The dog pretty much was a pet and the "balance" help was totally fraudulent. Yet she was able to take the dog anywhere she went, the swimming pool, restaurants, fancy hotels, etc. The dog was a nice dog though and no aggressive bone in her body. The lady, on the other hand, was very aggressive with many mean bones in her body.
 
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