All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for May 2004

Airport screener is suing over bike rides

Wed, May. 12, 2004
Joan Fleischman
Miami Herald

T heo Karantsalis, a screener at Miami International Airport, is suing his own agency, the Transportation Security Administration. He claims his TSA bosses refused to accommodate his disability -- lousy night vision from multiple sclerosis -- by forcing him to ride his bicycle to work at 3 a.m.

Karantsalis, 42, is acting as his own attorney. No surprise here. After all, he's the author of Theo's Guide to Kicking Ass in Small Claims Court: Florida Plaintiff Pro Se Edition. He's filed more than a dozen suits in Miami-Dade court.

This time around, Karantsalis is in federal court. He alleges a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Diagnosed with MS on Sept. 11, 2002, he no longer drives and gets to his airport job by bike and bus. He asked to be "permitted to work during hours of light," but his supervisors refused, he claims. "Plaintiff was forced to bicycle to work . . . at 3 a.m. at the risk of endangering his health and welfare," the complaint says.

The TSA denies any wrongdoing. In a response filed by Miami Assistant U.S. Attorney Aimee Jimenez, she says a temporary schedule change led to Karantsalis' pre-dawn bike rides, and his current shift "consists entirely of daylight hours." Thus, his complaint is "moot" and should be dismissed, she contends.

Karantsalis, an unsuccessful candidate for Miami Springs City Council, once owned a passport photo shop in Hialeah. Now, he is studying library and information science. He aims to become a law librarian. "My calling."

Case is before U.S. District Judge Donald Graham.

Copyright © 2004, Miami Herald