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COURT'S SILENCE SENDS MESSAGE: MCI MUST ACCOMMODATE DISABLED

          The Supreme Court yesterday "let stand without comment"
     an appeals court ruling which required the MCI Center to
     provide wheelchair-bound patrons with "seating that allows
     them to view events over the heads of standing spectators,"
     according to Maryann Haggerty of the WASHINGTON POST.  The
     Court's action is the "final say" in a dispute which began
     in '96 when the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), a DC-
     based group, sued Washington Sports Owner Abe Pollin over
     the arena design.  PVA's suit "pushed to make certain" that
     handicapped seating was distributed around the building and
     that "users could see the action if other patrons stood up." 
     After losing in federal court, Pollin and the PVA "agreed on
     a plan to provide up to" 180 seats for the handicapped at
     the arena, which has proceeded while Pollin "went through
     unsuccessful appeals."  But PVA Deputy General Counsel
     Lawrence Hagel said that the PVA "is not yet satisfied" that
     Pollin has complied with the plan.  Hagel, on Pollin's
     adherence to the plan: "The question is to what degree do
     they not meet it and how important that is."  Hagel said
     that he hoped the rulings regarding MCI Center have "set a
     precedent to a certain degree" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/10).
     
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