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A paraplegic athlete is suing Luton airport after he was pressured to pull himself by the terminal when his self-propelling wheelchair was left behind on a flight.
Workers on the airport had provided to push Justin Levene, 30, by arrivals on a inflexible high-backed chair, which he declined as a result of he felt it eliminated his independence.
He requested to make use of a motorised buggy as a substitute, however Luton Airport didn’t have one.
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Justin informed the BBC: ‘I’ve labored very exhausting for quite a few years to attempt to keep all of my independence.
‘And to be in one of many chairs they had been providing would make me really feel humiliated and degraded. They insisted in making an attempt to strap me down in it.’
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He was left unable to stroll after struggling a herniated disk after a coughing match simply two days earlier than his 21st birthday.
He has competed as a global wheelchair athlete and develop into a mentor and coach to different disabled athletes ever since and refused to let his incapacity residing an impartial life.
However he mentioned he was left ‘humiliated and degraded’ when his personal wheelchair was left on his flight.
One in all his pals filmed him dragging himself by the airport earlier than sitting on a baggage trolley.
Though he acknowledges that errors can occur and wheelchairs could be left behind, he has by no means needed to face a state of affairs resembling this.
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Justin is now suing Luton Airport, saying it didn’t give satisfactory incapacity equality and consciousness coaching to these answerable for offering mobility help.
The lawsuit will concentrate on whether or not corporations ought to present disabled prospects impartial means to get round their premises, or if it sufficient to simply provide transport.
In an announcement the airport mentioned it was proud of its response.
It mentioned: ‘On discovering that Mr Levene’s flight had arrived with out his wheelchair, our groups labored exhausting to discover a answer, providing Mr Levene an assisted wheelchair as a brief substitute.
‘Mr Levene declined all affords of assist as he deemed them unacceptable.
‘Whereas we apologise if Mr Levene was dissatisfied with the service he acquired, we’re glad that our brokers and workers did all they might in tough circumstances.’
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