Thursday, August 18, 2005

M.D. Fla. Says Deaf Plaintiffs Have Standing to Seek Injunction Against Hospital

In an opinion issued on Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida held that two deaf plaintiffs had standing (at least at the pleading stage) to seek an injunction against a hospital that had refused to provide them interpreters on past occasions when they had sought medical care. Distinguishing other cases that have held that ADA plaintiffs don't have standing to seek injunctions on the basis of past discrimination by health care providers, the court emphasized that the plaintiffs live very close to the defendant hospital, and that the next closest hospital is forty-five minutes away; that the plaintiffs have chronic conditions that require frequent, sometimes emergency, care; and that the hospital's employees were likely to deny interpreters again when they showed up seeking care in the future. The case is Connors v. West Orange Healthcare Dist., 2005 WL 1944593 (M.D. Fla., Aug. 15, 2005).


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