Cornhuskers Accused of Discrimination

     LINCOLN, Neb. (CN) – The University of Nebraska lets donors and tailgaters use handicapped parking spaces at football games, and harassed a truly handicapped man who tried to park in one, the man claims court.
     Richard Norton Jr. sued the University Nebraska in Lancaster County Court.
     Norton says he tried to park in a handicapped space at Morrill Hall before going to see an exhibit, but was “subjected to verbal harassment and ridicule by an employee of the defendant and was ultimately denied access to park in the handicapped stalls.”
     The Cornhuskers were playing the University of Missouri at Memorial Stadium on campus that day, Oct. 30, 2010.
     Norton says he was ordered to go to a parking lot much farther away and told he had to pay $15 to park in a designated handicapped space.
     “Plaintiff showed the employee his disabled parking sticker and explained that the law prohibited them from charging disabled persons a fee to park in accessible spaces,” the complaint states. “After being subjected to verbal harassment and ridicule by the defendant’s second employee, plaintiff was allowed park at the lot for only two hours but was threatened that his car would be towed if he returned to the lot ‘even one minute late.'”
     Norton says he suffered extreme pain in his legs and feet and required medical attention after walking to Morrill Hall.
     He says he complained to U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and the Cornhuskers’ school acknowledged the violations and deficiencies in an April letter, but has failed to correct the issues, as it promised to do so.
     No corrective measures had been taken as of Sept, 1, when the Cornhuskers played the University of Southern Mississippi at Memorial Stadium, Norton claims.
     He seeks an injunction ordering the school to stop its discriminatory conduct, declaratory relief and damages for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
     He is represented by Kathleen Neary with Powers & Associates.

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