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Person with assistance dog refused bus services: bus operator fails to comply with court order

In March 2016, the Regional Court of Warszawa-Praga in Warsaw decided that a long-distance shuttle operator’s refusal to provide transportation services to Justyna Kucińska, a blind person using an assistance dog, had constituted a violation of the woman’s personal interests. At that time, the court ordered the carrier to issue an apology to the HFHR’s client and pay PLN 5,000 for a charitable cause. Despite the order becoming final, the carrier failed to comply. The client’s attorneys applied for the official enforcement of the court’s decision.

Let us remind our readers: in 2014, the client, who was at the time travelling from Lublin to Warsaw, wanted to use a long-distance shuttle service operated by a private carrier. The driver refused to let her embark, claiming that the company policy forbade animals on board (to find out more about the case, please use this link).

In the statement of reasons appended to the decision, the court ruled that the conduct of the shuttle operator had violated the client’s dignity, personal freedom, the freedom of movement and the freedom of choice of a place of stay. The court also found that the driver’s behaviour constituted discrimination on the grounds of a disability.

“The carrier did not appeal against the decision and failed to respond to our requests for voluntary implementation. We have been thus forced to submit a formal application for the commencement of enforcement proceedings”, says Aleksander Woźnicki, an attorney of Wolf Theiss P. Daszkowski sp. k.

In late August, the counsel for Justyna Kucińska applied to a bailiff for the commencement of enforcement proceedings.

“Regrettably, in this case, the carrier has consistently been ignoring our client’s rights and has failed to abide by the court’s order that names them responsible for a violation of Ms Kucińska’s personal interests”, says Dr Dorota Pudzianowska, HFHR’s legal expert.

The case has been conducted as part of HFHR’s “Article 32” anti-discrimination programme. Two attorneys of Wolf Theiss P. Daszkowski sp. k., Mr Aleksander Woźnicki and Mr Rafał Karbowniczek, represent the client pro bono, as a courtesy to the HFHR.


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