Taylor Price settles disability discrimination lawsuit against Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown
Looks like Mr. Smith’s might keep its reputation as “the friendliest saloon in town.” According to a document filed last Tuesday in D.C. District Court, Georgetown student Taylor Price (MSB ’10) withdrew his discrimination lawsuit against the restaurant, seemingly because Mr. Smith’s made a donation to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
“In the end, I think both sides were happy,” Price said. Price, who has been paraplegic since a 2004 diving injury, sued Mr. Smith’s in September for a violation of the American with Disabilities Act. Price’s lawsuit alleged that on January 23, 2009, a manager at Mr. Smith’s had not allowed him to enter the back of the restaurant because the manager said Price’s wheelchair was a fire hazard.
Price said the terms of the settlement with Mr. Smith’s are confidential, but he insists he did not personally receive money. A joint statement from Price and Mr. Smith’s suggests that Mr. Smith’s did lose some money, just not to Price.
The statement trumpets Mr. Smith’s donations to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, perhaps a nod to how Mr. Smith’s managed to resolve the lawsuit. For his part, Price says in the statement that Mr. Smith’s is welcoming towards people with disabilities.
After the jump, the court document and the joint statement
Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown, a popular Georgetown restaurant, and Taylor Price, a Georgetown student who uses a wheelchair, announced today the resolution of a lawsuit brought by Mr. Price against the restaurant and issued the following statement:
Mr. Price’s concerns have been fully addressed and this matter has been amicably resolved. Mr. Smith’s has again demonstrated that it is committed to working with members of the community to serve the interests of people with disabilities. This includes supporting organizations such as the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, an organization that is dedicated to curing spinal cord injuries and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through innovative research, grants and advocacy. In response to this resolution, Mr. Price stated, “The outcome of this matter was very positive. Mr. Smiths should be commended for their efforts to ensure that their establishment is a welcoming environment for people with disabilities to enjoy themselves and for their commitment to supporting the advancement of the concerns of people with disabilities. These assurances will make the lives of people with disabilities better.”
Mr. Price is represented by the Washington Lawyer’s Committee and the Washington-based law firm Venable LLP. Mr. Smith’s is represented by the Washington-based law firm Wiley Rein LLP.