Originally created 03/01/97

Hearings scheduled in environmental lawsuit against ASU

Arguments are scheduled in court next week on Augusta State University's request that a professor's lawsuit concerning environmental problems be dismissed.

Dr. Mary Mobley, a business administration professor, sued the university in 1995, claiming environmental problems in her office in Markert Hall aggravated her respiratory ailments and caused other health problems.

She also accused the administration of failing to notify the public of environmental hazards, such as asbestos, in classroom buildings. The school has denied those claims and is requesting funds to correct the problems.

U.S. District Judge Dudley Bowen Jr. dismissed the lawsuit in favor of the university in April 1996,, saying Dr. Mobley failed to document her claims. But the case was reopened June 25, 1996, after Dr. Mobley's new attorney, O. Torbitt Ivey, Jr., filed a request for reconsideration.

Assistant Georgia Attorney General Rebecca Mick, representing the school, then refiled the request for summary judgment, again contending "there are no genuine issues of material fact" in Dr. Mobley's contentions that the school violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act in failing to correct its environmental problems.

The university has since taken steps to correct environmental problems such as deteriorating, asbestos-roofed classroom buildings.

ASU President William Bloodworth has asked the Board of Regents for $40.8 million to replace about 75 percent of the campus' classrooms and faculty offices due to the asbestos roofs.

The request would finance a 280,000-square-foot classroom building. Once completed, Butler, Markert, Hardy and Skinner halls, and the Science and Classroom Office buildings, would be demolished.

The hearing on ASU's motion for summary judgment is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the U.S. District Courthouse in Augusta.


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