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49ers Sued for Violating Americans with Disabilities Act
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Summary: The San Francisco 49ers  didn’t follow the law when they attempted to kick a disabled man and his service dog out of a game.

The San Francisco 49ers are receiving some negative attention after being sued by a disabled man who attended one of their games. James Hilburn accused the security guards and police officers at Levi Stadium of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. Hilburn was hassled by the guards and officers during a game for having a service dog, causing him to suffer a seizure.


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Hilburn suffers from myoclonic dystonia, where seizures are a common result of the condition so he has a specialized service dog that help prevent them and can also sense and alert when a seizure is imminent. Hilburn attended the November 29 game against the Arizona Cardinals at the stadium in Santa Clara. He provided documentation to the ticket taker and was let into the game without problems.

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After entering the stadium, Hilburn was targeted by security guards and police officers for having the dog in the venue. The stress of the altercation was building so Hilburn attempted to leave, but the guards wouldn’t give him his identification documents back. His anxiety continued to grow, alerting the dog that a seizure was about to happen.

The service dog began to bark and luckily a friend of Hilburn understood what that meant. The friend told the guards what was happening and asked them to back away but they refused. Hilburn seized and was hospitalized.

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The California Civil Code allows those with disabilities and their service animal equal access. Hilburn claims he was robbed of this right and was also detained unlawfully. The Levi Stadium guide states that animals aren’t permitted within the venue “with the exception of service animals and service animals in training.”

Hilburn is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.



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