Duty on service providers not to discriminate did not require restaurant to allow takeaways

Edwards v Flamingo Land Ltd is a Court of Appeal case on the duty on service providers not to discriminate on the grounds of a customer’s disability. The case was brought under the Disability Discrimination Act, but the law is the same under the Equality Act.

The respondent operated a theme park which included a restaurant and bar area. While at the theme park, the claimant (who had Down’s syndrome and autism) and her family wanted to have a meal. They sat at a picnic bench adjacent to the restaurant’s outside seating area. The claimant’s parents were told that they could not be served in the picnic area and, when they offered to carry the food outside, they were prevented from doing so by the manager. They attempted to explain that, because of their daughter’s disabilities, it would upset her if she had to move but were asked to leave.

The claim that the restaurant had failed to comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments for a customer with a disability succeeded before the district judge but was overturned on appeal, where it was found that the parents had failed to explain adequately at the time why their daughter could not move…

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