A quadriplegic attorney from California, forced to use a trash can for a toilet, filed a discrimination suit Monday against a Miami Beach hotel.
Jennifer Kern, 47, of Berkeley claims a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act and seeks damages for mental anguish.
Kern planned a trip to Miami Beach on the end of a visit with her parents in the Florida Keys. She was celebrating with friends who were flying to Ecuador from Miami International Airport.
She chose the Days Inn and Suites Miami/North Beach Oceanfront, which advertised itself as being disabilities compliant and called ahead to speak with the staff to confirm that it was. She arrived Feb. 22 to discover the bathroom was not accessible.
“No one would check into a hotel if they’re not going to be able to use the bathroom,” Kern said.
Asked if her room booking was wrong, she was told there was no room that would be any better for her.
Even were she able to get into the bathroom, Kern said none of the facilities were usable. The sink was too high, and there were no bars by the toilet or in the shower.
Her friend, who was supervising two young children, set up a makeshift toilet using a trash can in the middle of the bedroom to help Kern.
The lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against Days of Inn North Beach Hotel LLC on Kern’s behalf by Randall Berg Jr., executive director of the Florida Justice Institute, and Amanda Heystek, senior attorney at Disability Rights Florida.
Kern, an estate planner, became disabled at 19 in an automobile accident.
A call for comment to the Days Inn general manager was not returned by deadline.