Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Court Rules in Favor of Guide Dog in Restaurant

November 19, 2004

THE Constitutional Chamber of theSupreme Court (Sala IV) has ruled infavor of 41-year-old Gerardo Mora, whois blind, in a lawsuit he filed against arestaurant that blocked his entry with hisguide dog, a judicial source said thisweekend.The court’s decision, made Nov. 12,said these types of seeing-eye dogs aretrained to practically convert themselvesinto an “organic” extension of their owners,“in such a manner that between boththere is a very strong integration.”Furthermore, the resolution said, thedogs are trained to behave only as guidedogs and are not a threat to people.The court rejected arguments by thebusiness Mundo Marino de Costa Ricathat Mora, who was accompanied byanother person, could have entered therestaurant La Princesa Marina, in Curridabat,east of San José, without his dog.This ruling is expected to set a precedentfor blind people to enter with theirguide dogs into this type of business.Mora, a musician by profession, toldthe press he felt “insulted” by the restaurantand therefore turned to the Sala IV inAugust.He said he is considering filing a civilsuit against Mundo Marino, allegingmoral and psychological damage.

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