When 78-year-old Mary Wobschall went to the Wisconsin DMV to renew her license, she expected it would be a relatively straightforward process. She had already gone to an optometrist who told her she didn't need glasses to drive and she had all her paperwork ready to go.
She was surprised when a DMV worker told her that in order to renew her license, she would have to walk across the room without using her cane. Wobschall and her husband objected to the worker's request and explained that she had been using the cane for years after undergoing surgery to replace both of her knees.
When the worker insisted, Wobschall complied with the request, but she slipped and fell and broke her wrist. As a result, the worker denied her renewal. She was handed a form and told she would have to undergo a general medical examination before she could renew her license.
Wobschall was taken to the hospital where she underwent surgery to repair her wrist. She passed away a few months later due to other causes.
Now, her estate is suing the DMV, claiming they violated her constitutional rights. The lawsuit says that if a DMV worker believes an applicant has a medical issue, they are supposed to issue a temporary license, but Wobschall was told she had until the end of the month to renew her license. The lawsuit also claims that asking an applicant to prove they can walk without using a cane is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
"A DMV license examiner employed by Defendants is not qualified to make a determination of whether an individual possesses a physical condition, impairment, or disability that might prevent such individuals from exercising reasonable and ordinary control in the operation of a motor vehicle," the suit states.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for Wobschall's medical expenses and the mental and physical anguish she endured as a result of breaking her wrist.
Photo: Hupy and Abraham