DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 202-41-20
1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § § 12181-89, and the title III regulation, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36, with the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Mississippi against the Central Mississippi Medical Center (Center), formerly Methodist Medical Center. The complaint was investigated by the United States Attorney under the authority granted by section 308(b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12188. The complainant, who is deaf and uses sign language to communicate, alleged that the Center failed to provide effective communication because it denied her request for an interpreter for her to attend child birth classes offered by the Medical Center.
2. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and Central Mississippi Medical Center. This Agreement is not an admission of violation and should not be construed as an admission by the Center of any violation.
3. In order to avoid litigation, the parties have agreed to resolve this matter as indicated below.
4. The subject of this settlement agreement is the provision by the Center, without charge, of auxiliary aids and services to individuals with disabilities when necessary to afford effective communication to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in the programs, and services or activities conducted by the Center.
5. The ADA applies to the Center because it is a public accommodation as defined by the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12181 and 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
6. Damages: As evidence of its good-faith effort to resolve the complaint filed with the Department of Justice, within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this agreement, the Center shall pay the complainant $1,000.00. The Center will provide the United States with written notice of the completed payment within five (5) business days after the payment has been disbursed by sending a
copy of the check and transmittal letter to Pshon Barrett, Assistant U. S. Attorney, Southern District of Mississippi.
7. In order to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded or otherwise denied participation in the Center's programs and services and in order to enable effective communication with members of the public who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Center agrees:
a. To take those steps necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded or denied services because of the absence of auxiliary aids or services as required by the ADA. This requirement includes, but is not limited to, providing sign language interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. See 42 U.S.C. § 12182(B)(2)(A)(iii), and other relevant provisions.
b. The Center shall maintain a written policy to receive and process the requests of individuals with disabilities for auxiliary aids and services and to consult promptly with individuals regarding their requests and needs.
c. For purposes of courses or seminars offered by the Center to the public, the Center will develop a policy of offering and providing auxiliary aides and services, including sign language interpreters, for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. This policy shall require no more than forty-eight (48) hours notice to the Center of the requested service.
d. The Center will provide comprehensive training for each new employee who is hired and annual training for all employees. The training will cover the general provisions of the ADA, as well as the specific requirements for providing effective communication.
8. Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this agreement, the Center shall inform members of the public about its procedure for the provision of auxiliary aids and services to individuals with disabilities by distributing information about this procedure in pamphlets, posters or other appropriate means.
9. Within fifteen (15) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Center shall provide its employees and volunteers with a document describing its ADA compliance policy relating to requests for accommodations from individuals with disabilities who are participating or requesting to participate in the Center's programs. (Copy attached.)
10. Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Center shall submit a report to the United States Attorney detailing the actions it has taken to comply with the preceding provisions.
11. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person.
12. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department of Justice believes that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, it may institute civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate Federal court.
13. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any deadline or any other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
14. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
15. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, will be enforceable under its provisions.
For Central Mississippi For the United States:
United States Attorney
JOSEPH MULLANEY, Administrator PSHON BARRETT
Central Mississippi Assistant U.S. Attorney
Medical Center Southern District of Mississippi
188 E. Capitol St., Suite 500
Jackson, MS 39201
Approved as to Form:
HEBER SIMMONS,III, Attorney for
Central Mississippi Medical Center