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UNL pays $20K to settle disabled parking lawsuit

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm •  Published: January 16, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has agreed to pay a disabled Lincoln man $20,000 to settle a federal lawsuit accusing the university of illegally closing down handicapped parking stalls on campus during home football games.

Richard Norton Jr. sued the university in 2012 after he said he was not allowed to park in a handicapped stall outside of the University of Nebraska State Museum during Nebraska's Oct. 30, 2010, home football game.

The settlement was reached in December, said Norton's attorney, Kathleen Neary of Lincoln, and a judge dismissed the lawsuit Thursday.

According to the lawsuit, Norton had gone to the museum with his two children to visit an exhibit, but the signs marking the two handicapped stalls just outside the museum had been covered with hoods, and he was told by a university employee that the spots were being held for university donors.

Tailgaters occupied the handicapped stalls, Neary said.

The lawsuit accused the university worker of ridiculing and harassing Norton, who was told he would have to park in a handicapped stall several blocks away. Norton drove to the other lot, but was told when he pulled in that he would have to pay $15 to park in one of the lot's handicapped stalls.

After protesting, Norton was told he could park free for two hours but that his car would be towed if he returned to the lot "even one minute late," the lawsuit said.

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