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Questionable Judgments

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In October, Patty Cooper, 50, accused her landlord (the Central Vermont Community Land Trust) of failing to "accommodate" her disability under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act when it barred her "service horse" from living in her apartment. Cooper uses a wheelchair because of a brittle-bones disorder and says the miniature horse (100 pounds, 32 inches tall) not only pulls the chair but cheers her up. A trust spokesman said keeping rats out of the hay bales would be difficult enough, but he doubted Cooper's assurance that the horse could be easily housebroken.

In November, a California administrative judge sided with state dental authorities and suspended Dr. Mark Anderson's license, following complaints by female patients that he had massaged their chests to treat a jaw disorder. Anderson's lawyer, citing alleged dental journal articles, had asserted that jaw pain was related not only to pectoral muscles but even calf muscles. (In November, Anderson was also indicted for sexual battery against patients.)

The head teacher of Sandhurst Junior School in south London apologized in October because a professional photographer had arranged, for his own convenience, an unfortunate group photo of the school's 100-plus students. The photographer, trying to keep from having to re-set his reflector screens, lined up the kids from the lightest-skinned on the left, gradually over to the darkest-skinned on the right. Said the head teacher, "We can see that this was an error of judgment."

Also Questionable: Japanese adults push their children to save more, but few are buying the piggy bank introduced by the TOMY Co. in November, because, if not fed with savings for a period of time, the bank just explodes, scattering the contents.

In September, three young men in a dinghy on a canal in Australia's Gold Coast region stood up to moon a group of people but lost their balance and fell in, with two recovering quickly, but the third was chopped in the face by the then-circling dinghy's outboard propeller and was in serious condition.

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