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IN BRIEF/Entertainment

Clear Channel Accused of Discrimination in Suit

April 10, 2002|Bloomberg News

Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s entertainment unit is accused in a government lawsuit of discriminating against diabetic concert-goers by refusing to let them bring insulin supplies into venues.

Clear Channel Entertainment, the world's biggest concert promoter with about 110 locations in the U.S., forces diabetics "to choose between being barred from concerts or taking unreasonable health risks," the Justice Department said in announcing the discrimination suit filed in Philadelphia.

The suit accuses the unit of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by creating a policy barring diabetic supplies and enforcing it against two people in Pennsylvania who tried to take insulin or blood-testing equipment into a concert.

The suit was filed after settlement negotiations failed, the Justice Department said.

"Individuals with diabetes are entitled to attend and enjoy community events, like anyone else, without putting their lives at risk," said Ralph Boyd, assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights. The policy "is unnecessary and reflects outdated fears about individuals with disabilities."

The suit says Clear Channel Entertainment has a policy prohibiting patrons from taking syringes into a venue, including needles used for insulin or lancets for blood-testing. It also doesn't allow diabetics to take food into a venue.

The suit asks the court to end that policy and award compensatory damages to those who were barred from concerts. It also seeks civil penalties for the Justice Department.

A spokesman for San Antonio-based Clear Channel Entertainment refused to comment.

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