West Hartford Healthcare Facility Agrees to Increase Accessibility in Order to Comply with ADA
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached settlement agreements with ProHealth Physicians, Inc. (“ProHealth”) and Udolf 631, LLC (“Udolf Properties”) to resolve allegations that a ProHealth office in West Hartford was not operating in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).
The settlement agreements resolve an ADA complaint filed by an individual with disabilities alleging that the ProHealth office, located at 631 Quaker Lane South in West Hartford, was not accessible to individuals with physical disabilities. ProHealth leases the premises from Udolf Properties.
ProHealth and Udolf Properties are in the process of making the changes to the Quaker Lane office required by the settlement agreements, which include improving the accessibility of the facility’s entrances and access routes, increasing the number of accessible parking spaces and adding a van accessible parking space, adding accessible features to restrooms, reducing barriers for patients to access check-in and check-out areas, ensuring access to all patient areas of the facility, and adding an accessible exam table and method for ensuring access to diagnostic testing facilities for individuals with disabilities. Udolf Properties will make improvements over the next six months and ProHealth will continue to make improvements over the next two years.
Under federal law, professional offices of health care providers and their landlords are considered “public accommodations” and are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints and undertake periodic reviews of compliance of covered entities. The Justice Department is also authorized to commence a civil lawsuit in federal 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.
U.S. Attorney Durham noted that the leadership of both ProHealth and Udolf Properties have worked cooperatively and collaboratively with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to expeditiously address the ADA issues without litigation and to make comprehensive changes to the Quaker Lane office facility to improve accessibility.
“The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that individuals are able to access the offices of health care providers and other public accommodations,” said U.S. Attorney Durham. “We appreciate the willingness of ProHealth and Udolf Properties to greatly increase the accessibility and usability of the Quaker Lane office for individuals with disabilities.”
Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that the office of a health care provider or any other place of public accommodation or public entity in Connecticut is not accessible to persons with disabilities may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700.
Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Justice Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TTY). More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica H. Soufer of the District of Connecticut in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.