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A Wetherspoons employee accused a deaf woman of being “drunk” because she “talked too loud” while ordering a drink after her mother-in-law’s funeral, her husband claimed.
Sally Arathoon, 47, and her husband Ella Scott, 49, visited the Wheatsheaf pub in Ellesmere Port with other family members after burying her mother on Wednesday.
But when Sally went to the bar to order her second booze and a coffee for Scott, a staff member ‘refused’ service, saying, ‘you’re drunk, you’re slurring your words,’ according to Scott.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are investigating the incident and are unable to comment further at this time.”
“We will be happy to speak with the people involved once we have fully investigated the incident.”
Scott claimed the staff member also told the couple that he saw Sally “arguing with someone.” He denied that any discussion had taken place.
Sally suffers from Ménière’s disease, a rare disorder with symptoms including vertigo, tinnitus, pressure inside the ear and hearing loss.
She now has lost 55% of her hearing and has problems with her balance.
During one point in the interaction, Scott said her wife took off her hearing aids to show the staff member that she was deaf and tried to explain how Ménière’s disease affects her.
However, despite this, Scott alleges that the staff member said that he thought she was “drunk” and that Sally “looked drunk”, so she did not serve him.
He claims other staff members said Sally was fine and “seemed quite surprised” by the interaction.
Sally has been ill for about three years and in December last year she was diagnosed with the rare condition which has caused significant hearing loss.
Because of this, Scott said the couple has rarely dated and now this incident has “hit her confidence.”
“The damage and humiliation is already done, having to remove her hearing aids to show her that she was deaf in front of other people has left my wife embarrassed, humiliated and upset and not wanting to leave the house today,” he said.