U.S. Attorney’s Office Files Lawsuit Against Flint Neurological Centre P.C. For Violating the Rights of Individuals Who Have Disabilities
FLINT, MI (STL.News) The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Flint Neurological Centre P.C., alleging that the medical practice violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to provide auxiliary aids and services required to ensure effective communication with patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, such as sign language interpreters.
“The ADA protects fundamental rights of individuals with disabilities, including the ability to access health care services. My office is committed to protecting those rights,” said Dawn Ison, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. “No one should be denied meaningful access to health care services, including the ability to exchange critical information with their medical providers.”
The complaint, filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, alleges that Flint Neurological Centre has a long history of failing to provide aids and services necessary to ensure effective communication with patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, including a previous investigation by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. The complaint further alleges that Flint Neurological Centre failed to provide sign language interpreters or any other communication aids to five patients, in some cases, over several years of treatment. For one patient, the complaint alleges that his relative would travel 200 miles across state to attend medical appointments, because Flint Neurological Centre repeatedly failed to provide a sign language interpreter and important medical information could not be communicated without her assistance.
Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by public accommodations, such as the professional office of health care provider. Public accommodations must allow people with disabilities the full and equal enjoyment of their goods, services, and facilities. This obligation requires the provision of auxiliary aids and services, such as sign language interpreters, when necessary to effectively communicate with patients who are deaf or hard of hearing