Implemented in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. The ADA applies to numerous contexts including employment, pubic transportation, telecommunication, and medical care.
Title III of the ADA covers private hospitals and clinics while Title II covers public hospitals and state- or federal-run clinics. Both sections require healthcare providers to accommodate patients with disabilities by ensuring full access to their facilities and modifying policies, practices, and procedures as needed so such patients can benefit from all the services they provide. If a facility fails to abide by these regulations, it can be sued for violating the patient’s civil rights.
If your practice has been named in a lawsuit for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact Lubell Rosen to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our Florida medical malpractice defense attorneys will evaluate your case from all angles, perform a rigorous investigation, and help you build the strongest defense possible. Call (954) 880-9500 to schedule a consultation.
Let’s explore two possible defenses against medical malpractice claims arising from ADA violations:
1. The patient had to wait to receive care because another patient with disabilities was using the only accessible exam table.
In general, patients who have disabilities should not have to wait any longer to see a doctor than other patients. That means if they make an appointment, the staff should reserve the room containing the accessible exam table; however, if someone with a disability is taking advantage of walk-in services, the accessible exam room may not be available immediately. Larger practices should have multiple accessible exam tables to accommodate several patients with disabilities at any given time, but it is not abnormal—nor is it a violation—for a smaller clinic to have just one.
2. The facility is controlled by a religious organization and does not receive any federal funding.
Private hospitals that are run by religious organizations do not have to comply with the regulations set forth in the ADA unless they receive federal funding. Although they should try to accommodate all kinds of patients, it is unlikely that such a facility would lose a lawsuit over an ADA violation.
Discuss Your Case with a Medical Malpractice Defense Attorney in Florida
If you have been named in a lawsuit for an alleged ADA violation, turn to the AV-rated medical malpractice defense lawyers at Lubell Rosen. Call (954) 880-9500 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a case evaluation.