USM Targeted For Lawsuit

A former University of Southern Mississippi employee says the college discriminated against her because of a long-term medical condition. S. Katherine Lochridge alleges that her contract as director of the college's Food Services and Culinary Arts Academy was not renewed because she has lupus, an autoimmune disorder.

Her lawsuit was filed Friday in Harrison County Circuit Court. The lawsuit claims USM failed to review or restructure Lochridge's duties because of her disease. She says that she was denied ``reasonable accommodations.'' She has asked for at least 500-thousand dollars in compensatory damages, among other forms of relief.

University counsel, Lee Gore, says he believes USM will be fully exonerated.