Cherry Hill Mall, New Jersey, United States - 01-20-2023 (PR Distribution™) -
Attorneys for Doug Heir, renowned Paralympian, have filed a lawsuit in Atlantic County Superior Court (Docket # ATL-L-0051-23) on his behalf for compensatory and punitive damages against Bally’s Corporation alleging disability discrimination and failure to accommodate. At age 18, while lifeguarding, Doug was rendered a quadriplegic attempting to save a drowning child. It was later determined that the child was playing a joke. Despite his injury and resulting disability, Heir never stopped giving up hope for a better future. Doug went back to school and became a successful injury lawyer. Over the following decades, he became known as “One of The World’s Greatest Champions,” earning hundreds of Gold Medals making Doug one of the highest Gold Medal winners of all time. In addition, Doug went on to break all the National, World, and Paralympic records in his events. Doug competed in five Paralympics, and served as Captain of the US Track & Field Team at the 2000 Olympics/Paralympics in Sydney. Doug received one of the highest honors in the sporting world being featured on the front of the Wheaties “Breakfast of Champions” Cereal box, joining the world’s greatest sports legends. Doug was the first quadriplegic to ever appear on a Wheaties box. The International Jaycees bestowed Doug with the honor of being “One of the Ten Outstanding Young People of the World”. The Association of State Colleges and Universities selected Doug as “The Outstanding Alumnus of the Year” from all college graduates. Doug was designated by U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese to help disabled people throughout the world. Most recently, Doug has co-authored “The IQ Book”.
Doug was the face of triumph over adversity for over four decades. However, on July 31, 2022, he was subjected to disability discrimination for the first time. The valet staff at Bally’s in Atlantic City, NJ refused to park Doug’s handicapped-equipped van, despite Doug having been invited to attend the Elton John tribute concert and have a high-roller status as a Superstar Bally’s player. Doug had to park a couple of blocks away at another casino who accepted his handicapped-equipped van to valet without issue, but exposed Doug to potential dangers commuting late at night being in a wheelchair.
Just three weeks later, Bally’s again refused to provide Doug with a reasonable accommodation, which was captured on video (https://youtu.be/gjSfJnmvIZk). Not only did the attendant refuse to park Doug’s vehicle, but the attendant also referenced that speaking to a supervisor would do no good, as “he’s going to tell you the same thing just like how he told you last time”. Doug had to leave the Bally’s Casino and truly felt as though he was “thrown to the streets” and has not returned since.
Under both New Jersey and Federal Laws, casinos and other places of public accommodation are required to make reasonable accommodations for individuals like Doug Heir. Their failure to do so on two separate occasions prompted Doug to file this lawsuit.
On behalf of the 54 million disabled Americans, Doug felt compelled to address this level of discrimination that is not only against the law, but it also emotionally scarring, degrading, humiliating, and extremely hurtful. On two separate occasions at Bally’s Casino, Doug pleaded to the Bally’s attendants to be allowed to park, pointed out many options of where he could park and despite his pleas because of his disability, he was refused to park and had to leave the premises. The actions of Bally’s Corporation and the attendants were blatantly discriminatory and unconscionable and should never happen again to a person with a disability. The impact from these two incidents of discrimination was the first time in forty years that Doug felt as disabled as the day after he broke his neck.
Heir states, “I was nervous about publicly filing this complaint, only because in my past all of the media attention I have received has been about winning gold medals or making some type of achievement, as well as the positive messages that I have always shared to the disabled and general population. However, I felt I had to come forward to show companies like Bally’s that discriminating against people with disabilities is wrong and is against the law.”
The complaint was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County and can be viewed in full here (https://gcinjurylaw.com/cherry-hill-employment-lawyer/doug-heir-filed-complaint/). Heir is represented by Erica Domingo, Esquire of Grungo Colarulo, LLC in Cherry Hill, NJ.
To contact Doug’s attorney Erica Domingo, her e-mail address is email@example.com and her phone number is 856-582-4494.
To contact Doug Heir, his e-mail address is DougHeir@aol.com and his phone number is 609-519-0707. You can also find Doug on Facebook with an additional 4,000 photographs. Doug Heir of Cherry Hill, NJ.
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For the original news story, please visit https://www.prdistribution.com/news/bally-s-atlantic-city-alleged-to-have-discriminated-against-one-of-the-world-s-greatest-champions/9460993.