Disabled doc sues WVU

By John O'Brien | Sep 15, 2006

MORGANTOWN - A quadriplegic emergency medicine doctor says West Virginia University has been less than accommodating in working out an employment plan for her.

Dr. K. Alicia Crankshaw filed suit Sept. 6 in Monongalia Circuit
Court against the university's board of governors.

Crankshaw says she began her residency at WVU on July 1, 2004, but 10 months in she was involved in an automobile accident that left her a quadriplegic with use of her hands and arms. She is currently confined to a wheelchair.

In April, Crankshaw says she was ready to return to work.

"Following her release by her physiatrics physician, Dr. Crankshaw made numerous requests to WVU for accommodation for her return, including making suggestions as to appropriate accommodations," the complaint says.

"Yet, other than a May 11 meeting between Dr. Crankshaw and agents of WVU, which was scheduled at Dr. Crankshaw's request to discuss the details of her return and the accommodations required, WVU has failed to accommodate or attempt to accommodate Dr. Crankshaw and has failed to facilitate her return to her residency program."

She adds that WVU has failed to engage in any meaningful attempt to explore accommodations for her, and that because the new year for residencies began on July 1, WVU has jeopardized her ability to return to the program.

She charges WVU with violating the West Virginia Human Rights Act and seeks an injunction ordering WVU to address her situation so that she can be reinstated to the three-year program before the end of the year.

"Time is of the essence because each month that passes delays Dr. Crankshaw's completion of her residency program," the complaint says.

She also seeks compensatory and punitive damages and is represented by Jane Peak of Morgantown firm Allan N. Karlin and Associates.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number 06-C-596

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