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COURT'S SILENCE SENDS MESSAGE: MCI MUST ACCOMMODATE DISABLED
Published March 10, 1998
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).