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Man sues university for driving him to suicide with windowless office

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   May 10, 2013 at 10:42 AM
A guidance counselor has filed a federal lawsuit against Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, Utah, claiming the school is responsible for his attempted suicide, Courthouse News Service reports.

The complaint states that in 2010 Troy Selk gave BYU "medical evidence regarding plaintiff's recent diagnosis of severe depression and adult attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder." The evidence included doctor's orders for "natural sunlight" and breaks.

In 2012, Selk was transferred to another department and moved into a "windowless basement office." He could not appeal the transfer as it wasn't disciplinary in nature. Selk later found the move was made so that BYU could provide accommodation for an employee with cancer.

The complaint states that the lack of natural light led to loss of focus and irritability toward coworkers. BYU gave Selk a warning to improve or be fired. Selk claims the warning led to "uncontrollable high blood pressure, severe depression and anxiety, and sleeplessness."

Selk requested and received a leave of absence from the school, and the next day he attempted suicide. After hospitalization, Selk formally resigned from BYU a few weeks later.

The complaints states that BYU "knowingly and intentionally deprived plaintiff of the reasonable accommodation necessary for plaintiff to perform a job he was otherwise capable of performing." Selk is seeking lost wages, costs and damages for disability discrimination and retaliation.

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