This matter was initiated by a complaint filed, under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189, with the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Mississippi against the MEA Medical Clinic, Grants Ferry Road (" MEA"). The complaint alleges that the MEA Clinic on Grants Ferry Road failed to remove architectural barriers, even though their removal was readily achievable. 28 C.F.R. § 36.304 and 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(iv). During the course of the investigation, the United States Attorney's Office learned that the operations of the clinic on Grants Ferry Road were to be moved to a newly constructed clinic located at 5547 Highway 25, Brandon, Mississippi. Therefore, the U. S. Attorney's Office conducted a compliance review of the architectural plans prior to construction of the new clinic. This review revealed a number of violations of Title III of the ADA and the Department of Justice's implementing regulation, in the design of this facility. 42 U.S.C. § 12183 and 28 C.F.R. § 36.401.
The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and First Intermed Corporation, Ridgeland, Mississippi (owner and operator of MEA Medical Clinics). The parties stipulate that this Agreement was entered into to avoid the cost of litigation and is not an admission of violation and should not be construed as an admission by First Intermed Corporation of any ADA violation. All references below are to the provisions of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design ("Standards"), 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A.
First Intermed Corporation agrees to modify the architectural plans for the MEA Clinic and to ensure that the facility is constructed to comply with the ADA as follows:
Parking Spaces and Ramps:
1. First Intermed Corporation will provide two van accessible parking spaces located on the shortest accessible route to the entrance. These spaces will be marked with appropriate signage to comply with Standards § 4.6.4, and designed in accordance with requirements of Standards § 4.1.2(5)(b), Figure 9.
2. The slope of the side flares at the curb ramp at the front will be modified to comply with Standards § 4.7.5, and Figure 12(a).
3. The ramp will be constructed so that it does not intrude into the access aisle of the parking spaces and the slope of the access aisle will be modified to comply with 1:50. Standards § 4.6.3.
4. The slope of the entrance ramp will be modified to 1:12, or less, according to Standards §§ 4.7.2, 4.7.2.
Maneuvering Space, Counter Heights, and Vertical Clearance:
5. Level maneuvering space at the front entrance will be modified to provide a depth of sixty (60) inches in accordance with requirements of Standards § 4.13.6, Figure 25.
6. The doors to the janitor room, the lounge, X-ray dark room, and electrical room will provide a thirty-two (32) inch clear opening width in accordance with Standards §§ 4.13.5 and 4.1.1(3).
7. Seating in the waiting area will not be fixed seating, therefore, allowing for the required maneuvering space at both interior doors into this area. Doorways and maneuvering spaces will not be obstructed by the placement of furniture. Standards § 4.13.6, Figure 25.
8. In order to provide the required vertical clearance, all protruding objects, such as televisions, will be located at a minimum of eighty (80) inches above the floor. Standards § 4.4.2.
9. The height of all check-in counters and the receptionist counter will not exceed thirty-six (36) inches above the floor. Standards § 7.2(2)(i).
10. The counter with lavatory in the lounge and the examination room lavatories and counters will be a maximum of thirty-four (34) inches high. Standards § 4.32.4.
11. Toilet rooms 1, 2, and 3 are public and common use toilet rooms and will be made accessible according to Standards §§ 4.1.3(11) and 4.22.
12. The maneuvering space at the pull-side of doors to toilet rooms 4 and 5, as well as storage rooms 1 and 2, will be modified to comply with Standards § 4.13.6, Figure 25.
13. The common-use lavatory outside toilet room 2 will be made accessible according to Standards §§ 4.22.6, 4.19.
14. The grab bars will be properly installed in all toilet rooms in accordance with Standards §§ 4.16.4, 4.26.
15. The doors to toilet rooms 1, 2, and 3 will be modified to provide a thirty-two (32) inch clear opening width in accordance with Standards § 4.13.5.
16. All doors will have accessible hardware in accordance with Standards § 4.13.9.
17. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document, or any information contained in it, may be made available to any person. First Intermed Corporation shall provide a copy of this Agreement to any person upon request.
18. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to investigate alleged violations of Title III. 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(1). The Department of Justice is also authorized to commence a civil action in United States District Court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties. 42 U.S.C. §§ 12188(a)(2) and 12188(b). In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth herein, the Department of Justice agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter.
19. 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 a civil action in the federal district court for the Southern District of Mississippi, or any other appropriate federal district court, following written notice to First Intermed Corporation of the possible violation and a period of ten (10) days in which First Intermed Corporation has the opportunity to cure the alleged violation. The Attorney General is authorized to seek civil penalties and monetary damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(C).
20. In the event that First Intermed Corporation fails to comply in a timely fashion with any requirement of this agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department as to a temporary modification of the relevant terms of the agreement, all terms of this agreement shall become enforceable in United States District Court, and such failure shall be considered a subsequent violation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. sec. 12188(b)(2)(C)(ii).
21. If First Intermed Corporation fails to take any actions described in this Agreement, without prior written approval of the Department of Justice, it shall be liable to the Department of Justice for a civil penalty of no less than $5,000 for each required action not taken, in addition to any appropriate compensatory damages caused by the failure to comply.
22. 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.
23. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
24. 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.
25. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth herein and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect First Intermed Corporation's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of Title III of the ADA.
26. Each signer of this document for First Intermed Corporation represents that he or she is authorized to bind First Intermed Corporation to this Agreement.
For First Intermed For the United States:
United States Attorney
Barbara Childs Wallace PSHON BARRETT
Attorney for First Intermed Assistant United States Attorney
Corporation Southern District of Mississippi
Dr. William Howard, Chairman
Board of Directors of
First Intermed Corporation>