A lawyer suffering from PTSD wants at least $10k – or about $2,500 a minute – for the 240 seconds he was unlawfully denied entry last summer to a North York mall with his service dog, Flicka.
J. Andrew Sprague is not satisfied with the $1,000 the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario awarded him for damage to his “dignity, feelings, and self-respect” for the time he was kept waiting by an ill-informed security guard at the Empress Walk mall.
“While my pursuing this matter before the HRTO has never been driven by the prospect of monetary damages, I am disappointed in the low monetary amount that has been awarded,” says Sprague in an e-mail to his supporters. “I believe that I have a duty and an obligation to the service dog community to challenge Adjudicator (Brian) Cook’s calculation of monetary damages.”
Last August, Sprague and his pregnant wife were going out for a date night, and as always, Flicka was coming along. They were heading to the subway through Empress Walk when they were stopped by a security guard for bringing a dog into the RioCan property.
The lawyer is used to these momentary delays. Usually, he just has to show his doctor’s note and Flicka’s certification from the National Service Dogs association. This guard, however, refused to see it. Instead, he rudely insisted no dogs were allowed and ordered them to stay where they were while he got a manager.
Sprague wanted RioCan to pay him a whopping $10,000 in compensation for his ruined date night and the additional therapy he needed. The adjudicator didn’t buy it.
Is $10k a bit much? Is he being over-dramatic or does have a case?
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