DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 202-41-43
- This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ï½§ï½§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 Neurologic Institute of the Gulf Coast, LLC (hereinafter Institute). The complaint alleges that the Institute failed to provide a sign language interpreter for a patient who is deaf.
- The parties to this Settlement Agreement are the United States of America and the Neurologic Institute of the Gulf Coast, LLC. In the interest of securing compliance by voluntary means, the parties have entered into this Agreement and agree to the terms set forth below.
- By signing this Agreement, the Institute does not admit that its policies, practices, or procedures violate in any respect the ADA or its implementing regulation.
- The parties agree that Title III of the ADA applies to the Institute because the neurology clinic is a public accommodation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ï½§12181(7)(F) and 28 C.F.R. ï½§ 36.104.
- The subject of this Settlement Agreement is the provision by the Institute of auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- The Institute agrees to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services. The Institute may not be required to take steps if it can demonstrate that doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, advantages, or accommodations being offered or would result in an undue burden. Any claim that the provision of auxiliary aids and services constitutes an undue burden shall be measured against the overall financial resources of the corporate entity rather than the income generated from an individual office visit. Auxiliary aids and services include, but are not limited to, qualified sign language interpreters, written materials, and note pad and pen.
- The Institute acknowledges that qualified sign language interpreters may be needed for effective communication with deaf persons for any appointment in which the required communication includes a diagnosis, the taking of a medical history, a test or examination requiring a series of verbal questions or answers, and other appointments involving all but very brief, simple communications. The Institute may not require a family member or other associate of the patient to provide interpreter services.
- The Institute agrees to maintain a list of qualified sign language interpreters and agencies providing interpreter services for the purpose of fulfilling a request for interpreter services. An interpreter will be provided, upon forty-eight (48) hour notice, for a regularly scheduled appointment. In cases where an individual requests an interpreter for an appointment with less than forty-eight (48) hours notice, the institute shall make every effort to secure interpreting services within the specified time frame.
- Beginning on the effective date of this Agreement, The Institute will instruct all office personnel to comply with the provisions of this Agreement. The Institute will incorporate these instructions into a written policy which will be posted in a central location in the office.
- Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Institute will conduct a training seminar for all personnel to address the practical application of the ADA and the specific provisions of this Agreement and each new person as hired.
- This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it, may be made available to any person. The Institute will provide a copy of this Agreement to any person on request.
- 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.
- The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
- 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. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth in the first paragraph, and it does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect The Institute's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of Title III of the ADA.
For the Neurologic Institute
of the Gulf Coast, LLC
KRISHNA NALLURI, M.D.
For the United States:
United States Attorney
Assistant U. S. Attorney
Southern District of Mississippi