PSU settles service dog lawsuit

6-9-13-psu neuberger hall sign
The sign outside Neuberger Hall on Portland State University's main campus in southwest Portland. (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland State University will pay $161,500 to settle a lawsuit claiming it discriminated against disabled students who have service animals.

Deaf student Cindy Leland and the Fair Housing Council of Oregon filed a $1 million lawsuit in 2012, alleging the university wouldn’t allow Leland and her dog to live in an on-campus apartment that had carpeting.

The suit also said she couldn’t complete prerequisites for a master’s degree program because a teaching assistant told her the dog wasn’t allowed in a lab.

Portland State admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, but acknowledged in a statement Friday that Leland had a difficult experience and officials wish her success as she continues her studies.

Leland’s attorney says his client will pursue an occupational therapy degree in the United Kingdom.

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