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Man sues nightclub over service dog

A Josephine County man is suing a Grants Pass nightclub after he was asked to leave because of a service animal.

Alexander Mas filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Medford accusing The Sound Lounge in Grants Pass of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act when a bartender asked Mas to leave the bar with his service dog, and without serving him.

Mas’ lawsuit seeks an order prohibiting the bar from excluding service animals, an order requiring the bar to establish policies and procedures for accommodating people with disabilities, along with economic and noneconomic monetary damages to be determined by a jury in a “sum that is just.”

On Jan. 22, Mas alleges that he went to the bar for a live music performance, but an unidentified bartender yelled from across the room that dogs were not allowed, according to the lawsuit filed by Mas’ lawyer Daniel Snyder of Portland.

Mas refused to leave the service animal outside, the lawsuit states, and Mas told the bartender that “it was illegal to deny his service animal access to the establishment.”

The bartender refused to serve Mas and asked him to leave, but did not call police despite Mas’ prompts to do so.

“While this was occurring, [Mas’] service animal sat calmly at his feet and out of the way,” the lawsuit states.

The bartender instead asked a patron at the bar to mediate the situation and ask Mas to leave, according to the lawsuit. That patron walked over to Mas, put his arm around him, and allegedly tried to persuade Mas to leave saying, “don’t make problems.”

Mas ultimately left the bar without being served.

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Mas tried to file a discrimination complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, but Mas claims that his complaint was never investigated.

Mas requested the right to sue the establishment from BOLI in September, and the state agency granted Mas’ request in October.

The Sound Lounge had not yet responded to the lawsuit as of Wednesday, court records showed.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.