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Disabled woman sues the MTA for not allowing her dog to board

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Here an intresting article. A woman has sued the MTA for not allowing her dog on any NYC subway or bus. This woman who is not blind does suffer from a mental illness and slight hearing loss. Here NY Daily News article.

 

Woman sues for 10M for being denied subway rides with dog

BY JOHN MARZULLI

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

 

Sunday, January 4th 2009,

 

 

Estelle Stamm rides No. 5 train with her giant dog, Wargas. The Manhattan woman has been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder.

A woman who claims her 120-pound dog is protection from childhood memories of sex abuse is in a big-bucks battle with NYC Transit over whether the animal can ride the rails.

 

Estelle Stamm, 65, won $10,000 from the city after two cops gave her a ticket for bringing the pony-sized dog into a subway station.

 

Now she's going for $10 million in a federal suit that argues Wargas, her service dog, is protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

 

"These sons of b-tches don't like to be told what to do," Stamm told the Daily News as she waited for a federal judge to decide whether the suit should be tossed.

 

"I don't have a choice. I need my dog. And they [NYC Transit] don't have a choice, either. They have to follow the law."

 

Transit lawyers have recently taken the position that Stamm - who has been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder and has partial hearing loss - is not really disabled.

 

Their legal papers draw on 8,000 pages of Stamm's Internet postings, in which she suggests Wargas' breed - livestock guardian dog - is dangerous.

 

"Livestock guard dogs in the subways is a wonderful sight to behold. The seas of people part before us," the former ad agency manager boasted in a 1998 posting.

 

In other postings, Stamm discussed dog-on-dog attacks involving her previous service dog, Mishka, a Caucasian Ovcharka that died of cancer last month.

 

She described livestock dogs as genetically wired with "tremendous killing power" and said Mishka could be aggressive toward elderly cancer patients because "she can smell death, and she doesn't want it near her."

 

Stamm, who lives near Union Square, sued the city in federal court in 2007 and got a $10,000 settlement in July. Her suit against NYC Transit has been kicking around since 2004.

 

It contends her civil rights were violated by transit workers who tried to toss her and the dogs from public transportation. Current MTA regulations only allow dogs for disabled riders who are 'blind' or visually impaired." All other small 'pets' are only allowed in a small container.

 

In 2000, a bus driver shut down on First Ave. and told the other passengers they had Stamm to thank for the delay, she alleges.

 

The announcement prompted an irate passenger to bark at her, "If I'm late for work, I'll find you and kill your ... ass!" The driver was later disciplined.

 

Stamm said her stress disorder causes extreme fear of danger, severe depression and confusion. The dog keeps her "in the present," warns her of sirens and horns, and provides a large, furry barrier in crowded places, she said.

 

She carries an ID card for the dog issued by NYC Transit and is required only to inform employees what kind of service he provides.

 

Being questioned about her disability - which she says is prohibited by transit regulations - has triggered stress reactions, her complaint says.

 

In addition to money damages, Stamm is seeking employee retraining.

 

"This is an easy fix, so their hostility mystifies me," Stamm said. "Wargas is not in the slightest bit dangerous. This is such B.S. It's meant to intimidate me."

 

NYC Transit's position is that Stamm's suit has no merit because she has been inconvenienced only a handful of times and was never denied access to a bus or subway.

 

c)2009 NY Daily News, Inc. jmarzulli@nydailynews.com

 

Any reactions and who is right? Miss Stamm or the MTA?

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She's certainly not handling it with grace and poise. I just can't take her seriously or take much pity on her if she's ready to curse out the MTA.

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Agree with the Six... besides, if it's explicitly stated in the rules that you have to be visually impaired, and she isn't in any way, there's no going around it, right?

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8100/4.2.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

 

I really can't side with her at all; she isn't visually impaired or blind. I understand she is depressed, lives in fear, etc. and she obviously finds comfort and security with her dog, but I'm sure there are an endless number of people who share the same anxieties and they don't take their pets on the subway. If that were the case we'd be in for quite a ride. Also, just to piggy back on what Roku said, if she handled her dispute in more of a gracious manner, I think she'd find that people would be a bit more sympathetic towards her case.

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Yeah... bringing your large attack dog onto the subway will definitely make you feel safe, but then again, so will a shotgun. The dog may relieve her horrid childhood memories, but it still doesn't make it alright to take the beast for a ride in the subway. I can hardly believe that she thinks it's wrong to ask her why she has a huge dog with her... some people...

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get the heck out of here...person doesn't follow the rules, sues for large amounts of money...and this is certainly not helping budget gaps because at minimum, the MTA will have to get legal counsel even to get this thrown out of court. absolutely ridiculous

 

people today need to learn to roll it with it and stop complaining about everything (everyone LOVES to complain), and STOP SUING. news flash: when you sue you only make lawyers rich.

 

Here an intresting article. A woman has sued the MTA for not allowing her dog on any NYC subway or bus. This woman who is not blind does suffer from a mental illness and slight hearing loss. Here NY Daily News article.

 

yeah, it's called stupidity

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get the heck out of here...person doesn't follow the rules, sues for large amounts of money...and this is certainly not helping budget gaps because at minimum, the MTA will have to get legal counsel even to get this thrown out of court. absolutely ridiculous

 

people today need to learn to roll it with it and stop complaining about everything (everyone LOVES to complain), and STOP SUING. news flash: when you sue you only make lawyers rich.

 

 

 

yeah, it's called stupidity

 

 

Agreed. This woman can use access a ride or local buses if she so terrifed of the subway. What makes this woman look even more greedy is as Rokusix and others stated her use of profanties and not being humble.

 

At least she already had a 1/2 fare discount on her metrocard. I love dogs but if she wins this lawsuit, it will open a can of worms for more people and excuse to bring their pets. What next a short size woman who only 4feet 5inches tall stating she needs her pit bull for her protection?

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They paid her 10k already. WHY?

They were absolutely right. She should of gotten a ticket.

If she's that afraid, why get on the train anyway?

Please my cousin just like this woman and he don't do that.

And what would happen if the dog got territorial and started going crazy (some dogs can do that)?

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Well, I feel all type of 'human-friendly pets' can be brought on transportation at least if they are in a cage to maintain safty and cleaniness...

 

Problem is if she wins this lawsuit, it can open can of worms for every customer to bring their cats and dogs aboard. I love most cats & dogs and personally I have no problem for seeing eye dogs for blind riders or small pets in a cage. That my take.

 

Would you want to see a Pit Bull allowed a train for an guy who allegles he is 'hard of hearing?"

 

This woman should just use access a ride or NYC local buses IMO.

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I am not going to side with her at all:

She is NOT blind, (to be politically correct): visually impaired.

The TA only allows patrons who are visually impaired to bring seeing eye dogs. Other animals must be enclosed in a cage or something in order to be brought to the system.

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I agree but not with the Pit Bull unless if it certified-safe dog...

 

Well, Access A Ride possibly cost a little more? But, NYC Bus may be good...

 

 

Not trying to cause a controversy here but i dont think pit bulls are smart or capable of every being 'guide dogs.'

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Not trying to cause a controversy here but i dont think pit bulls are smart or capable of every being 'guide dogs.'

 

Based on my observations, I doubt pitbulls are utility dogs.

And what kind of breed was the dog? Is the breed fit for such uses?

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8100/4.2.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

 

Based on my observations, I doubt pitbulls are utility dogs.

And what kind of breed was the dog? Is the breed fit for such uses?

 

I searched the article and it actually has a picture attached to it, but I can't tell what breed it is. Its definitely not a pit, but it is a big dog nonetheless.

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8100/4.2.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

 

 

 

I searched the article and it actually has a picture attached to it, but I can't tell what breed it is. Its definitely not a pit, but it is a big dog nonetheless.

 

I would prefer if you provide a link to that article. That way I could try to see what breed it is. Thanks!

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