Florida Woman Receives $300,000 Settlement from Condo Association That Tried to Ban Her Service Dog

Written by: Phil Monahan

Deborah Fischer poses with her service dog, Sorenson.
Photo via miamiherald.com

We post so often about the bad experiences that people with service dogs have that it’s nice to see one of these situations have a happy ending. A Florida woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis, Deborah Fischer, had been sued by her condo association because her service dog, Sorenson, violated the pet-size ordinance of the development:

The condominium complex in Davie’s Pine Island Ridge neighborhood does not allow pets over 20 pounds and demanded medical records and other information to prove that Fischer needed Sorenson — a 5-year-old Labrador-golden retriever mix — to help her. Saying Fischer didn’t provide the proper documentation, the condo association sued, said the woman’s attorney, Matthew Dietz of Miami.

Look at the photo above. Would you really question whether a woman with MS who is confined to a wheelchair needs a service dog? Luckily, the presiding judge would have none of it: “Sabal Palm got it exactly—and unreasonably—wrong,” U.S. District Judge Scola wrote in his order. “This is not just common sense—though it is most certainly that.” Click over to the full story to read more of the “serious verbal lashing” that Judge Scola gave to the condo board.

The more rulings like this one, the fewer businesses, condo associations, and the like will feel that they can treat those with service dogs unfairly.

Click here for the full story.

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