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Old 11-14-2017, 11:35 AM
LaneSig LaneSig is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Dallas
Posts: 4,099
Sorority Sisters' Lawsuit Over Therapy Dog

At issue:

One sister of Chi Omega at Ohio State University claims her therapy dog is essential to combat her panic attacks. This member is a VP of the chapter and is required to live in.

The other sister has a severe allergy to dogs which she claims is inflaming her Crohn's Disease and causing other medical issues. This member signed her in-house lease before the other member.
Sigma Chi. Friendship, Justice, and Learning since 1855.

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Old 11-14-2017, 11:46 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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"I'm a vp so I have to live in the house" is not on the same level as a constitutional amendment, and I'm sure there are instances where Chi O has had to waive this rule. Although whoever put her on the slate to begin with probably should have thought of that before she was even elected.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:48 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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I think I'd be persuaded by argument that the first sister to sign the lease would have the better claim to live in. The Chapter incurred a duty to accommodate her disability when that lease was signed. By signing the second lease, does anyone else think there's a mutual mistake of a material fact in that Chi Omega at that time could not provide reasonable accommodations to the second sister? I don't see anyone is arguing that in the news articles, but that's what jumps out at me the most.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:29 PM
Iota_JWH Iota_JWH is offline
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Really? they could not work this out and decided to go to court! Holy cow. Great spirit of cooperation. I am sure the alumnae are thrilled.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:31 AM
SoCalGirl SoCalGirl is offline
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Therapy dogs don't have the same protections as service dogs. I would think the dog loses in this case.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:42 AM
jolene jolene is offline
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Let whoever signed the lease first (the sister who is allergic, right?) get dibs on the accommodation.
AΞΔ--Delta Xi
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:57 PM
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thetalady thetalady is offline
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The terms here are being used incorrectly are that is what is causing some confusion. The dog in question is NOT a therapy dog. It is an assistance dog. People who need assistance dogs do have rights under the ADA. I don't know whose rights trump in this situation, but it would help if the authors of the article at least got the legal terms correct.

Therapy dogs provide nothing but emotional comfort to a variety of people. They are not trained to perform specific tasks for a specific person. Think dogs who provide comfort to people in traumatic situations or in hospitals.

Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks to assist one specific person who has specific disabilities.

Service dogs vs. therapy dogs
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:25 AM
aephi alum aephi alum is offline
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Location: The Big Easy
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I'm reading this as:

- The dog is a service dog. It is necessary for the dog to live with his/her owner for the owner's health. (I didn't see if the dog's gender was specified.)

- If the dog's owner signed her lease first and is required to live in the house, and the allergic sister cannot live in a house with a dog, the allergic sister should be free to break her lease without penalty and the chapter should make an attempt to find her on-campus pet-free housing. OTOH, if the allergic sister signed her lease first, an exception to the live-in requirement should be made for the dog owner - she should not have to forfeit her VP position because of the dog.

- I don't understand the connection between dog allergies and Crohn's. My own ignorance here - a fellow student of mine had Crohn's, but she lived in a dorm where pets were forbidden, so it was a non-issue.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:06 AM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Big guess here, but maybe since Crohn's is an auto-immune response, as are allergies, one could aggravate the other?

Pet allergies can be a big deal-possibly life threatening- on their own, depending on the level of severity.

Does Ohio State own Greek housing? Why would the university become involved in this situation? Would the university intercede in an off campus apartment dispute?
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Last edited by FSUZeta; 11-16-2017 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:08 PM
ChioLu ChioLu is offline
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CNN has now picked up the story:
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