Cancer survivor claims state police violated ADA regulations

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Dec 20, 2018

PITTSBURGH — An individual with a disability is suing the Pennsylvania State Police, a state agency, citing alleged disability discrimination, failure to uphold Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, and hostile work environment.

Robert M. Newton filed a complaint on Dec. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against the Pennsylvania State Police, alleging the state police agency denied him career advancement due to his disability.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges he has suffered and continues to suffer damages -- including lost wages and benefits and emotional distress, humiliation and inconvenience -- as a result of the malicious conduct of the defendant in making offensive jokes and negative comments about plaintiff’s arm-related disability.

That disability, he says, he acquired from a diagnosis of osteosarcoma in his left shoulder that metastasized in his lung. He claims he was denied the promotion to the rank of corporal despite his high score test that is the basis of the promotion. 

The plaintiff holds the Pennsylvania State Police responsible because the defendant allegedly refused to promote plaintiff because of his disability, record of disability and/or perceived disability; subjected plaintiff to discrimination in a program or activity receiving federal financial assistance; and subjected plaintiff to offensive and negative remarks.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against defendant for compensatory and punitive damages, costs and expenses of litigation, attorney's fees, and additional relief as may be just and proper. He is represented by Nikki Velisaris Lykos and Colleen Ramage Johnston of Johnston Lykos LLC in Pittsburgh.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Case No. is 18-cv-01639.

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