WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A Winter Haven family is accusing Walmart employees of kicking her 10-year-old son out of a motorized cart, even though, they say, he needed it.
Tiffany Ferris started her now viral Facebook post with “Walmart did something very inexcusable,” and ends with pictures of her son, Cameron, in tears outside of the big box store.
Ferris says her son needed the chair because of a muscular development delay which causes a lot of pain for the child in his legs.
The mother claims employees told her child on two different occasions, during the same trip, to get out of the chair despite his pleas.
Here’s is the mother’s accusation against the Walmart on 355 Cypress Garden Boulevard in Winter Haven:
“All my friends and family, I have a big favor PLEASE READ! Wal-Mart did something very inexcusable to my BABY BOY last night. Here is his story...
I took my children with me to the Wal-Mart at 355 Cypress Gardens Blvd in Winter Haven Florida last night, and as many of you know my youngest son Cameron (who will be 11 this winter) has a language delay and a muscular development delay that we are still working with his Drs on. He has been in special shoes, wheelchairs at school, and there have been many nights spent rubbing his legs so he can just sleep. Well he started to have leg spasms and I had him use a motorized cart to finish our trip. I had stepped away for a minute the first time a lady (Walmart associate) approached him and told him that he couldn’t be in the carts, he was trying to explain but she just continues to tell him no! My husband approached a manager (a floor manager) who apologized and said he would make sure that didn’t happen again. We completed our shopping and went to check out where people were informed we HAD to self checkout because they don’t checkout anyone between 10 pm and 7am...👍🏻 Then another lady says loudly “Ma’am , ma’am, excuse me Ma’am is that your son?” Pointing to my youngest, and I told her “Yes.” She then goes on to Loudly make a scene about him not being able to be in the cart and he can’t ride it etc... I asked her, “ Are we seriously going to do this again? You guys have already upset him once and yes he is, he is disabled and he needs it.” To which she replies “ I DONT REALLY CARE ABOUT THAT, But minors can’t ride our carts it’s policy because it’s a liability” ( Now I would like to add here that the FOR. ONE. ITS. ANSOLUTELY. NOT. WALMART. POLICY. AND. FEDERAL ADA GUIDELINES OUTLAW this exact behavior for a reason guys. The exact terms are that while a store is not necessarily made to carry motorized carts if they do, they and I quote “makes it a discriminatory practice to deny anyone full and equal accommodations in a place of public accommodation because of a physical disability. “ if they do offer them, they must be offered to all folks and your “policy” doesn’t trump Federal disability laws. At this point my baby is balling his eyes out because he is embarrassed. I help him to hobble out of the store after telling them I think they are ridiculous and after the General manager does NOTHING about the situation. There are laws about how we treat our citizens with disabilities for a reason. My son Did not deserve to be belittled and humiliated over something out of his control, and this “lady” needs to have some new training. My son is now terrified to go out to the store, and he is scared to death of Walmart! They should be ashamed of themselves and this needs to change!!!! This is my son sitting outside waiting on his father to finish shopping (EDITED **** By Shopping I was referring to the checkout process which is all part of shopping, I assumed everyone knew what I meant I apologize) because he wouldn’t go back inside.please feel free to share.”
The post has been shared more than 45,000 times and has garnered more than 31,000 likes. Facebook users on both sides of the case, saying Walmart is trying to protect those who actually need the chairs. Others asking Walmart to correct the issues.
ABC Action News has reached out to Walmart for comment on this issue. They released the following statement:
“We have apologized to the family about a misunderstanding over the use of a motorized cart. We always strive to ensure our customers have positive shopping experiences, and in this case we fell short. We take this matter seriously, and the store has since addressed the issue with associates.”
According to the American Disabilities Act;
“State law does not specifically require retail establishments to provide motorized carts or other mobility devices for customers with disabilities to use while shopping. But it makes it a discriminatory practice to deny anyone full and equal accommodations in a place of public accommodation because of a physical disability. Whether this could be construed as requiring retail establishments to provide motorized carts or other mobility devices for customers with disabilities to use in the establishments is a matter for the court to decide. For purposes of this law, a “public accommodation” means any establishment that caters or offers its services or facilities or goods to the general public (CGS § 46a-63).”