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Retailer Settles Bias Suit Brought by Burn Victim

August 04, 2000

LOS ANGELES — The Best Buy store chain has settled a federal lawsuit in which it was accused of refusing to hire a man who was scarred by burns over 80% of his body.

Without admitting any wrongdoing, the company agreed to pay Mark Basham $25,000 and hire him as a product specialist in its West Los Angeles store.

Best Buy also agreed to donate three complete computer systems to the Los Angeles County Fire Department for use by burn victims.

The settlement was reached with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sued Best Buy under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the federal Civil Rights Act.

Trial in the case was set to begin later this month.

Best Buy said it wanted to avoid incurring "further costs and burdens" stemming from the lawsuit, which was filed last year in Los Angeles federal court.

"We are pleased with the outcome for Mr. Basham," Mary Jo O'Neill, the commission's acting regional attorney, said Thursday.

"Disabled people have a right to work and a right to reasonable accommodation to do their jobs."

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