Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced today that an agreement has been reached with Orthopaedics, Spine, and Sports Medicine, LLC, d/b/a Total Orthopedics & Sports Medicine (Total Orthopedics), under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, to resolve allegations that Total Orthopedics failed to comply with its communications obligations for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in places of public accommodations such as medical centers. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing fall within the protection of the ADA.
Total Orthopedics is an orthopedic clinic with locations throughout New York City, New Jersey, and on Long Island. The settlement resolves claims made by an individual who is deaf, that Total Orthopedics refused to provide her with appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including a qualified sign-language interpreter, to ensure effective communication during a medical appointment at Total Orthopedics’ location in Massapequa in January 2020.
Under the settlement agreement, Total Orthopedics has agreed to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign-language interpreters, to patients who are deaf or hard of hearing. Total Orthopedics also agreed to update and maintain appropriate policies, to revise its training materials and provide annual training to its personnel, to post notices in its medical centers and on its website to inform patients of their right to auxiliary aids and services, and to cooperate with the United States Attorneys’ Office for the Eastern District of New York to ensure ongoing compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement. Total Orthopedics will pay $1,500 to the complainant.
“This Office is deeply committed to protecting the civil rights of all individuals and will not hesitate to vigorously enforce the laws protecting people with disabilities when necessary,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “Today’s resolution ensures that the deaf and hard of hearing will be able to effectively and efficiently communicate with health care professionals at Total Orthopedics locations throughout New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey.”
The United States’ case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ekta Dharia of the Office’s Civil Division with assistance from Civil Rights Investigator Laura Riley.
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 the Eastern District of New York is not accessible to persons with disabilities may contact this Office via the following link: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/civil-rights.
Danielle Blustein Hass
United States Attorney’s Office