NEW ORLEANS - A New Orleans Saints season-ticket holder filed a lawsuit June 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana that accuses the board that operates Mercedes-Benz Superdome of discriminating against him and infringing on his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Shelby Bailey sued the Board of Commissioners of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, chief executive Kyle France and business partnership SMG for compensatory damages and attorney's fees. He is also seeking an injunction.
Bailey said he uses an electric wheelchair and a ventilator to help him move and breathe, and renovations made to the stadium in 2011 allegedly removed an area designated for accessible seating.
The plaintiff said his new assigned seats block his view of the field, and other people at the game stand in front of him.
Kyle France Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District
After he brought his concerns to the local news, Bailey said the defendants moved him to a different seat, but that seat also had a blocked view of the field. He was then given alternate seating in an area he described as “some of the worst seats in the stadium,” according to the lawsuit.
Before filing a lawsuit, Bailey said he sent a letter asking to speak to stadium officials about his seating and ADA-compliance concerns. However, the plaintiff said the commission ended contact with him in February, leading to his filing of the lawsuit.
Bailey also alleged that the defendants continue to make changes to the stadium that violate the ADA.
According to the complaint, the Department of Justice inspected the site in 2008 and found violations of the ADA. Bailey said the renovations made since that inspection have not addressed the compliance issues.
In addition, a lawsuit was filed in 2010, with the private parties who filed the suit raising concerns about accessibility issues.
Bailey requested damages for emotional distress and invasion of his civil rights.