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Woman Denied Service: I Want My Half of $100K

Amber Gilles says health issues prevented her from wearing a mask
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2020 7:06 PM CDT
Updated Jul 19, 2020 6:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – A woman denied service because she wasn't wearing a face mask says she deserves roughly $50,000 for the "discrimination" she endured, KGTV reports. Amber Gilles argues that medical issues prevented her from wearing a mask when she entered a San Diego Starbucks, where the barista, Lenin Gutierrez, declined to serve her. A GoFundMe account supporting Gutierrez has since raked in over $100,000, and Gilles figures she deserves half. "It was discrimination and everybody is okay with it and enabling and rewarding that behavior," she says. Among her medical issues: "One of them I get shortness of breath, dizziness and it messes with the heartbeat," she explains. "And I do have asthma as well, and I do get mask-acne."

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For evidence, she provided two documents—a 2015 pelvic exam and a note from a chiropractor. The pelvic exam mentions "probable exophytic fibroid arising from the anterior wall of the uterus" and a "left ovarian cyst." The chiropractor's handwritten note says simply that she "has underlying breath conditions that prevent her from wearing a mask or any type of facial covering whatsoever." Asked why a chiropractor provided a breathing-related exemption, Gilles says it's "because they are dedicated to providing non-invasive personalized care and treatment. They are real doctors." As for Gutierrez—who was enforcing California law in refusing to serve Gilles—the Hill recalls that he posted a Facebook video saying he would use the funds to pursue his goal of becoming a dancer. (Read more face masks stories.)

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