A woman has filed a lawsuit against a McDonald's franchise, claiming that employees in two suburban Chicago restaurants refused to serve her because a birth defect forces her to use her feet as hands.
Dawn Larson was born with Holt-Oram Syndrome, which left her with diminutive hands just six inches from her shoulder, according to a report Monday in the Chicago Sun-Times.
"I drank my baby bottle with my feet," she told the paper. "Nobody ever taught me how to do it, I just did it. I can ride a regular 10-speed bike. I can swim. It has not been a problem in my life at all. It didn't stop me from having four boys. I've never dropped one of them."
In her lawsuit filed last week against the Rockford, Ill., McDonald's chain, Larson claims staff refused to serve her after she paid by credit card with her left foot for $23.59 of food last November, the paper reported.
"What's the matter with you? . . . You ain't got no arms. ... Let me see your arms," an employee allegedly told Larson with a tone of disgust, withdrawing the bags of food from Larson's outstretched foot, the paper said, citing the lawsuit.
The food was eventually given to Larson's son, but she says the incident occurred again three months later at a different McDonald's in Rockford. Both are owned by McDonald's Restaurants of Illinois Inc., the Sun-Times reported.
"We care very much about our customers and take this allegation seriously," Larry Taylor, director of operations for McDonald's Restaurants of Illinois Inc., told the paper. "We do our very best to serve our customers with the utmost care and respect. We have a strict policy prohibiting any form of discrimination in our restaurants. We have not seen the lawsuit and, as such, it would be inappropriate to comment."