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Former LCC student files suit after parking lot plummet.

Byline: Karen McCowan The Register-Guard

A disabled former student has filed a $375,599 lawsuit against Lane Community College, saying she suffered serious injuries when she tripped on a pothole - next to her handicapped parking space.

Carla Redding had a handicapped parking permit because of congenital bone growth abnormalities that created bone and joint deformities that impair her mobility, according to her attorney, Brandon Glosson.

LCC officials have not seen the suit and therefore have no comment, college spokeswoman Joan Aschim said Tuesday.

The suit alleges that on July 1, 2009, Redding fell to her knees and struck her head after stepping into a pothole while walking in a designated handicapped access aisle on the passenger side of her vehicle. The hole was approximately 6 inches in diameter and an inch deep, her claim alleges.

She suffered a concussion and damage to her jaw, neck, hips and knees, according to the complaint. One knee requires surgical repair, it alleges, and Redding has had headaches, dizziness, pain and reduced strength, motion and stamina.

The suit, filed by Glosson, seeks $13,693 to cover her medical expenses so far, and $111,907 for future medical and health costs.

It also seeks $250,000 in noneconomic damages for Redding's pain, emotional distress and interference with her normal activities.

Property owners have a duty to make premises "reasonably safe" for people invited onto their property, according to Uniform Civil Jury Instructions for such "trip and fall" cases.

In cases such as Redding's, the federal Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities Act could also come into play, said University of Oregon Law School Professor Heidi von Ravensberg.

"Both of those are non-discrimination acts designed to provide equal access to public spaces for people with disabilities," said von Ravensberg, who teaches courses in disability law. "Part of the affirmative responsibility for someone like LCC is to remove barriers. Handicapped parking spaces can be for people with mobility impairments, so (public entities) would want to make sure such people are able to get to and from their parking space."
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Title Annotation:Courts
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 6, 2011
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