A legal team from our office in Poland assisted three visually impaired individuals who filed lawsuits with the Regional Court in Warsaw against businesses which had refused them the right to use their services dogs at their premises. The legal team from Wolf Theiss represented the claimants at the request of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. The individuals impacted by the refusal of entry requested an apology in the press, payment to be made to a charity and for compensation.
In the first case, two visually impaired individuals were refused entry with their guide dogs to a restaurant in Warsaw. They were offered a table in the garden area when it had started raining. In the second case, the proceedings were brought against the owner of a transport company, where the driver denied a visually impaired women entry to the bus saying that the Terms and Conditions prohibit the transport of animals.
Both cases involved provisions of law allowing the use of guide dogs. According to Dr Dorota Pudzianowska, a lawyer at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, at the time of the case, a person with the assistance of a dog has the guaranteed right to enter buildings for public use, including dining facilities and the means of transport, pursuant to the Act on Disabled Professional and Social Rehabilitation and Employment in Poland.