“Does Cabbie’s Fear of Dogs Trump Requirement to Allow Service Dogs?”

by Walter Olson on September 18, 2012

In Connecticut, disability vs. disability: “A cab driver who claims he suffers from cynophobia (a fear of dogs) and who refused to pick up a blind customer with a service dog has filed a federal lawsuit against his employer for discrimination on account of his disability after he was fired.” [Daniel Schwartz]


1 Ian 09.18.12 at 12:23 pm

As a person with documented extreme allergies, to dogs in particular, I have always wondered where federal law stands on cases in which severe allergy sufferers are confronted with guide-animals, or overly-loved pets, in public places.

2 gasman 09.18.12 at 1:59 pm

Phobias are quite readily treatable. Blindness often less so, and the guide dog is still state of the art as far as getting folks out and about.

Now we just have to determine who is responsible for paying for phobia treatment. The cabbie has the greatest incentive to pay for and make such therapy effective to achieve the immediate reward of continued employment; then again, he may have other incentives or agendas to ensure that he cannot be cured of the phobia affliction.

3 OBQuiet 09.18.12 at 2:00 pm


That one is easy. Whoever has the most money to pay the lawyers, loses. usually that will mean the employer or business.

In a truly public place, you may have to come up with a way to blame the local governing agency. I am really surprised that folks haven’t started suing cities for violating the rights of nicotine addicts with the extensive public bans on smoking.

4 Richard Nieporent 09.18.12 at 2:07 pm

Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals.

To paraphrase George Orwell, all disabilities are equal, but some are more equal that others!

5 ShelbyC 09.18.12 at 5:02 pm

“Phobias are quite readily treatable. Blindness often less so…” But isn’t it more efficient for the blind guy to simply take a different cab?

6 mojo 09.19.12 at 1:44 pm

Just wait until the “Service Pony” loons catch up with him…

7 mojo 09.19.12 at 1:45 pm

PS: I think I need a “Service Gorilla”, about 800 pounds…

8 Jay Markowitz 09.19.12 at 6:19 pm

I have an acute fear of stupid people, which makes life difficult, to say the least. I would be a hermit except for my fear of caves.

No mention of if Ahmad ever previously documented this problem to a doctor. Would seem to tip the case if he just decided to mention this debilatating fear right when he arrived at the blind guy’s home. Also, with the plastic barrier between driver and backseat, how could the dog be any kind of threat? Unless it’s a service teacup chihuaha. That scares me as I have a fear of tiny vests.

ps – I also have a fear of negative replies to my comments, so if you want to avoid a letter from my quack attorney…

9 OBQuiet 09.20.12 at 1:14 am


“Also, with the plastic barrier between driver and backseat, how could the dog be any kind of threat? ”

From your following line, I am not sure if this was being played as a joke. If it wasn’t, I would point out that phobias are irrational fears. Check out Coulrophobia or Triskaidekaphobia. It is unlikely that a suffer would ever be truly threatened by what triggers their fear.
A least unless they we here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095444/

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