HERITAGE HEALTHCARE SUED IN FEDERAL COURT FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS IN PROVIDING CARE TO DEAF PATIENT

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                

Contact: Garret DeReus
Phone: (504) 619-9999
Email: gdereus@bizerlaw.com

 

HERITAGE HEALTHCARE SUED IN FEDERAL COURT FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS IN PROVIDING CARE TO DEAF PATIENT

 

[SLIDELL, LA, June 4, 2018] – On May 24, 2018, a Deaf Slidell resident, Mary Beth Aquila, filed a lawsuit in federal court after a local nursing home for failing to provided her with a sign language interpreter during the majority of her stay.

After undergoing shoulder surgery, Ms. Aquila spent fourteen days in recovery at Heritage Healthcare Center. Upon her entry, Ms. Aquila asked for a sign language interpreter to communicate with her doctors and nurses.

Despite numerous requests for sign language interpreters, Ms. Aquila remained without an interpreter throughout the majority of her stay at Heritage Healthcare Center. For the first seven days, she was forced to rely on written dry erase board messages as her sole method of communication with medical personnel and was left without a means to adequately convey her thoughts, needs, and concerns. As a result, Ms. Aquila was inadequately advised of the care, medication, and treatment options available to her, and thus, was unable to fully understand the scope, nature, and seriousness of her condition.

Heritage Healthcare Center’s treatment of Ms. Aquila is illegal. Federal law requires nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities to provide accommodations to ensure that individuals who are Deaf receive equal communication access and that covered entities develop policies to promote compliance with federal anti-discrimination statutes.

Ms. Aquila is a leader in her local Deaf community and serves as Vice-President of the North Shore Louisiana Deaf Coalition. She remains dedicated to advocating for herself and for other Deaf and hard of hearing individuals on their right to sign language interpreters under federal law.

Garret DeReus, of Bizer & DeReus, commented, “It is ridiculous that Heritage Healthcare Center refused to provide Ms. Aquila with a sign language interpreter for seven days and that they’d think a white board was adequate.”

This is the second lawsuit filed against a nursing home by Bizer & DeReus in 2018, and the civil rights attorneys at Bizer & DeReus in New Orleans are continuing to actively investigate nursing home issues across Louisiana.

If you believe that you or a loved one is a victim of nursing home discrimination, please contact Bizer & DeReus at (504) 619-9999 or visit our website at www.bizerlaw.com.

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