ADA in the News May 21, 2021

U.S. Attorney's Office Settles Disability Discrimination Case with New England Orthopedic Surgeons

The U.S. Attorney’s Office reached an agreement today with New England Orthopedic Surgeons (NEOS) in Springfield, Mass. to resolve allegations that the practice violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by turning away patients who were also being treated for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). According to multiple complaints, in 2019, two patients being treated with buprenorphine, a medication used to treat Opioid Use Disorder, sought full-joint replacement from NEOS surgeons. The government found that though NEOS surgeons could have accommodated the patients, they ultimately referred the patients elsewhere because the surgeons were not comfortable with the post-operative pain management protocol needed for patients prescribed buprenorphine, thereby violating the ADA.


Macon County, Tennessee Resolves ADA Complaint Over Courthouse Access for a Disabled Individual with a Service Dog

In December 2020, an individual with a disability recognized under the ADA attempted to enter the Macon County Courthouse in Lafayette, Tennessee, with a service dog to attend a public court proceeding. The Macon County General Sessions Judge would not allow the service dog to be permitted in his courtroom. Although Macon County received a complaint about the incident, no resolution was reached. The complaint was then brought to the attention of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate whether an ADA violation occurred.


Jury Orders Burger King franchisee to Pay $2M to Worker with Trachea Tube

The plaintiff was employed by the franchisee, Magic Burger, as a cashier. The plaintiff had a trachea tube because of a car accident that occurred one year before she started working for the defendant. The general manager of the store that hired her was informed of the trachea tube and saw it during the job interview. However, when an executive came to the store, the executive said the plaintiff couldn't continue to work there because of the trachea tube. She sued, claiming violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Florida law.

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