US Attorney’s Office Settles ADA Complaint Involving Area Ophthalmology Practice
Detroit, MI (STL.News) The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan announced today that it has reached a settlement with Vitreoretinal Specialists, PLC, which is also known as Retina Associates of Michigan – an ophthalmology practice with three locations in eastern Michigan. The settlement resolves an allegation that it refused to allow a service animal to accompany an individual with a disability beyond its patient waiting area.
“Service animals are a critical support for many individuals with disabilities. People who depend on service animals to assist them deserve the same access to our community as individuals who do not, and that is particularly true for access to health care services,” said Dawn Ison, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Under the settlement agreement, Vitreoretinal Specialists, PLC will adopt a non-discrimination policy that permits service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities into examination and treatment rooms, train its employees on the ADA, and post its non-discrimination policy in its facilities and on its website. Additionally, Vitreoretinal Specialists, PLC will pay damages to the affected patient.
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, which includes making reasonable modifications of their policies, practices, and procedures to permit people with disabilities to be accompanied by service animals.