A woman with Tourette's syndrome is taking on Wal-Mart by seeking more than $2 million in damages after one of its Florida stores allegedly barred her because of her nervous system disorder, according to Florida Today.
Four years ago, Tina White was shopping at Wal-Mart in Palm Bay, Florida, with two of her children. As a result of her condition, White occasionally has involuntary facial tics and outbursts of profanity. A manager and security officer of the store took notice of White and then asked her to leave and not return. The store also contacted a police officer, who gave White a no-trespassing order, reports WFTV9.
“It’s a very hard thing to live with and deal with,” White said of the syndrome to WFTV9. “It gets misunderstood a lot.”
Years after the incident, White, still upset, has filed a lawsuit, seeking $2 million in damages for her emotional distress. Additionally, her husband of 29 years seeks $200,000 for "loss of consortium" with her.
"It's putting part of her hometown off-limits for her. And it's a place she's accustomed to frequent, and she has the right to frequent. They used to do this to people who had black skin, or who didn't speak English, or were Chinese (or of) Asian ancestry. Women were excluded from some places — and that's just been in my lifetime," White’s lawyer Mark Tietig explained.
Tietig claims the corporation acted with "callous disregard" of the rights given to White by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Lawyers defending Wal-Mart claim the store employees were completely unaware of White’s condition at the time, Florida Today reports.
Recently, White says she was also kicked out of a Dunkin’ Donuts because of her Tourette's syndrome. White, along with Tietig, hope the case will raise awareness of her neurological disorder.
"God didn't make everybody to be the same. You know, this is who I am. There's nothing I can do about it. It's genetic. It's hereditary. And it's something that I have to live with for the rest of my life. This is just me," White told Florida Today.