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U.S. Attorney's Office reaches settlement with Mystic hotel over ADA complaint

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement agreement with the Quality Inn Mystic-Groton after an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint was filed against the establishment.

United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut John H. Durham announced the settlement in a news release Friday.

The complaint alleged that the hotel refused to permit an individual who relies on a service animal to bring the animal into its dining room to get free breakfast offered to all guests. The news release did not specify when the complaint was filed.

The settlement agreement requires the Quality Inn Mystic-Groton, which is owned by Mystic Hotels LLC and whose managing member is listed as Oleg Levin, according to town and state records, permit service animals in all areas of the hotel that members of the public and other hotel guests are allowed to go, including in its dining room during meal service. The hotel also is required to post signs indicating service animals are welcome, and will implement a service animal policy about which it will be required to train its managers and employees.

Hotel owners also agreed to compensate the complainant $1,000.

U.S. Attorney Durham noted that the owners and operators of the Quality Inn have worked cooperatively with the U.S. Attorney's Office to address the matters raised in the complaint. The matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica H. Soufer of the District of Connecticut in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

Under federal law, private entities that own or operate places of “public accommodation,” including hotels, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA requires that a public accommodation, such as a hotel, modify its policies, practices and procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability. 

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. The ADA requires hotels and other places of public accommodation to permit individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas where members of the public, customers, patrons or invitees are allowed to go.

Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that any place of public accommodation or public entity in Connecticut is not accessible to persons with disabilities or does not permit service animals may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (203) 821-3700.

Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Justice Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).  More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at justice.gov/crt.

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