MASON CITY – A handicapped man who trudged out of the Mason City Fleet Farm store nearly 2 years ago on his knees after he was denied use of a motorized cart by an employee has lost his lawsuit against the retailer.
The incident unfolded at the Mason City Fleet Farm, when a man posted a video sometime Monday, April 24. Shane Zahn, age 54, said “Went to Fleet Farm today to do some shopping. Paid for all my items and went to leave, was told I couldn’t use the wheelchair to go to the car. Returned all my items and had to walk out on my hands and knees. Just trying to make people aware of how Fleet Farm treats handicapped customers.”
The video apparently shows the man leaving the store on his knees as some commentary is made.
A statement was released soon after the incident by Wayne Sales, CEO of Mills Fleet Farm:
On behalf of the entire Mills Fleet Farm Team,We are aware of an unfortunate incident at our Mason City, Iowa, Mills Fleet Farm store where a Mills team member wouldn’t allow a disabled person to use an electric cart in our parking lot. While use of carts in the parking lot with the uneven terrain can pose a hazard, we feel that in this instance our team member made the wrong decision. We apologize to the customer and to everyone who may be affected.
Mills Fleet Farm has been a part of lives of Midwesterners for more than 61 years. Here, we did not live up to the values or the service our customers have come to expect from us. We should have gone the extra mile and helped the customer use the cart to return to his vehicle after shopping. Our goal is to speak with the customer and make things right for him. What occurred is in no way reflective of our values, and we will use the incident to learn and to improve our services.
Zahn filed a lawsuit over the incident in Cerro Gordo county district court. A jury quickly dismissed the claim on Feb. 9, 2019.