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).