(STL.News) – John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement agreement with DRX NORWALK, P.C. doing business as AFC Urgent Care in Norwalk, to resolve allegations that the urgent care facility was not operating in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).
The settlement agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by the parent of a child with developmental disabilities. The complaint alleged that a doctor at AFC Urgent Care Norwalk refused to provide the complainant’s child with a school physical based on the doctor’s determination that the child’s developmental disability made him too medically complex to be seen at an urgent care facility.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, AFC Urgent Care Norwalk will submit for approval to the U.S. Attorney’s Office a nondiscrimination policy that outlines AFC Urgent Care Norwalk’s obligations pursuant to Title III of the ADA and sets forth a patient grievance procedure. Once approved, AFC Urgent Care Norwalk will post the nondiscrimination policy on its website and will also physically post the policy in public view at AFC Urgent Care Norwalk’s office. Further, AFC Urgent Care Norwalk will train its staff members on Title III of the ADA and the new nondiscrimination policy. AFC Urgent Care Norwalk will also compensate the complainant in the amount of $2,500.
Under federal law, private entities that own or operate places of “public accommodation,” including professional offices of healthcare providers, hospitals, and other service establishments are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints and undertake periodic reviews of compliance of covered entities. The Justice Department is also authorized to commence a civil lawsuit in federal court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties.
U.S. Attorney Durham noted that the management of AFC Urgent Care Norwalk was cooperative with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and is committed to addressing the issues raised by the ADA investigation without litigation.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act, which ensures that individuals are able to access places of public accommodation in Connecticut, including medical services at doctors’ offices, hospitals, urgent care and other healthcare facilities,” stated U.S. Attorney Durham. “AFC Urgent Care Norwalk has fully cooperated throughout our investigation and has made clear its commitment going forward to comply in all respects with the ADA.”
Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that any place of public accommodation or public entity in Connecticut is not accessible to persons with disabilities may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700.