Judge rules dog can stay in clash that pitted two Ohio State sorority sisters

Cory will stay with roommate Madeleine Entine at the Chi Omega house, a federal judge ruled Friday morning.

U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley issued a preliminary injunction against Ohio State University that prohibits removing Entine’s “assistance animal” because a sorority sister blamed the dog for aggravating her allergies and Crohn’s disease.

“Under clearly established law, Entine and Cory prevail,” Marbley wrote in his 21-page opinion.

Entine suffers from severe anxiety that causes panic attacks that can leave her immobile and gasping for breath, which qualified her for the protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Marbley said. Entine said she has trained Cory, an 8-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, to be her “assistance animal” that helps her overcome the attacks by resting on her torso.  

It was unclear, Marbley said, whether Carly Goldman, who contended that Cory aggravated her Crohn’s disease, ever requested an accommodation under the ADA for her allergy. Crohn’s is a painful inflammatory bowel disease.

It was clear, the judge said, that the university’s ADA coordinator, Scott Lissner, who said Cory had to go, “did not even establish that it was Cory who aggravated the symptoms of Goldman’s disability.”

Entine’s lawsuit was filed against Lissner.

Marbley acknowledged that, for Lissner, “this case is about a thorny and largely unmapped legal issue: how the University should reconcile the needs of two disabled students whose reasonable accommodations are (allegedly) fundamentally at odds.”

The preliminary injunction stays in effect until the case goes to trial.

erinehart@dispatch.com

@esrinehart