A deaf mother has filed a complaint against Parishwide Hospital Service District of the Parish of Concordia after she claims that doctors failed to provide an interpreter so that she could fully understand the nature and scope of injuries she and her children received in a car accident.
The accident occurred on March 23 and resulted in injuries that required hospitalization at Riverland Medical Center. Once hospitalized, the mother claims that she was not provided a sign language interpreter, which meant that the hospital did not ensure effective communication regarding the extent of her injuries. She also accused the hospital of failure to provide necessary treatment or care. She is seeking a jury trial and compensatory as well as nominal damages, attorneys’ fees, interest and all other relief that the court believes is appropriate.
Did the Hospital Violate the Americans with Disabilities Act?
The mother believes that the treatment she received at the hospital was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Should a jury determine that the visit went as described in the complaint, then she is correct. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by places of public accommodation, which private health care providers are considered. If a deaf person feels that he or she needs an interpreter to understand what a health care provider is telling them, the health care provider is required to provide one. The cost of hiring an interpreter is up to the health care provider to cover as a normal business expense.
The PPACA, too, requires health care providers to provide translation and interpreting services for limited English proficiency (LEP) individuals.