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Press Release

Justice Department Settles HIV Discrimination Claim with Surgical Practice

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the United States Department of Health and Human Services have reached a settlement with Great Lakes Surgical Associates, a surgical practice with multiple locations in Michigan. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that the practice violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) as well as other federal civil rights laws when it refused to treat a patient because the patient was HIV-positive.

The ADA prohibits places of public accommodation, such as medical offices, from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Denying an individual the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the services of a medical office is one form of discrimination prohibited by Title III of the ADA.

 “Individuals living with HIV have a right to access medical treatment, and should not be discriminated against because of their medical condition. The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures such access by requiring doctors to make decisions based on an individual’s medical needs, not on stereotypes or assumptions. We appreciate Great Lakes Surgical Associates willingness to work with our office to resolve these allegations.” said Acting U.S. Attorney Saima S. Mohsin.

Under the settlement agreement, Great Lakes Surgical Associates has agreed to pay money damages to the patient and to revise its policies and train its staff to ensure compliance with the ADA.

For more information on the ADA and the DOJ’s Barrier Free Healthcare Initiative, visit, and for information concerning the DOJ’s ADA enforcement of discrimination on the basis of HIV/AIDS, visit Those interested in finding out more about these settlements or the obligations of public accommodations under the ADA may call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access its ADA website at  ADA complaints may be submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s Office by email at, or by calling 313-226-9151.


Updated February 12, 2021

Civil Rights