ADA in the News May 19, 2022

Justice Department Secures Agreement to Provide Community-Based Services to Children with Disabilities in Rhode Island

The Department of Justice today entered into a settlement agreement with the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to resolve alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The parents of a child with autism filed a complaint with the Justice Department, alleging that Rhode Island failed to provide their minor son with community-based Medicaid services that the state had authorized. These services allow children with disabilities to remain in their homes and communities rather than enter residential treatment facilities. The parents alleged that while the state authorized their son to receive 25 to 34 hours per week of community-based services, their son only received, on average, half of the weekly authorized hours. As a result, the parents feared that their son would be forced to leave their home and move to an institution. After the United States opened an investigation of this complaint, the child entered an out-of-state residential treatment facility for several months.


Statement of Interest filed by the United States in the State of Illinois v. CSL Plasma

The State of Illinois sued defendant CSL Plasma, Inc., and its parent company, defendant CSL Behring, LLC, in June 2020, alleging that they violated the ADA by refusing to make plasma donation centers accessible to individuals with certain disabilities. Specifically, the State alleged that defendants maintain policies that prevent people with mental health disabilities who use a service animal and people who are deaf from providing plasma and being compensated for their time. See Compl., Dkt. 1. the State has moved for partial summary judgment on the legal issue that defendants’ plasma donation centers are service establishments and therefore public accommodations under Title III. See Pl.’s Mot. for Partial Summ. J., Dkt. 77. Defendants have not yet responded to plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment, but in their answer to the complaint they deny that plasma donation centers are service establishments.


U.S. Attorney’s Office and Mercy Health Northern Hospital Systems Agree to Settlement to Resolve Violations of Americans with Disabilities Act

Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio reached a settlement agreement with various hospitals located in the Mercy Health Northern Markets to resolve violations stemming from an investigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The agreement follows a federal civil rights investigation into complaints of discriminatory treatment of deaf patients and their companions during healthcare stays at several hospitals. These complaints stated that Mercy Health failed to provide on-site interpreters and, instead, relied on note writing and/or video remote interpreting services that failed to provide effective communication. On the basis of its investigation, the United States determined that Mercy Health denied patients the appropriate auxiliary aids and services necessary for effective communication during healthcare.


Settlement Agreement between the United States and the Massachusetts Trial Court

This Agreement (the “Agreement”) is made between the Massachusetts Trial Court (the “Trial Court”) and the United States of America (“United States”) (collectively the “Parties”).

After receiving a complaint, the United States Department of Justice, through the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, opened an investigation into whether a drug court in the Massachusetts Trial Court system had a practice of requiring drug court participants to abstain from taking buprenorphine or methadone, medications used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD), as a condition of participating in the drug court, and also, whether participants were either pressured or required to undergo treatment with injectable naltrexone, another medication used to treat OUD, without a medical assessment as to whether that medication was, in fact, appropriate, in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S. C. §§ 12131-12134, and Title II’s implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. pt.


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