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Old 10-12-2017, 06:35 PM
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Default Many Mount Sinai Hospitals Agree to Landmark Class Action Settlement to Improve Healt
For Immediate Release October 12, 2017 Press Contacts Disability
Rights Advocates Christina Brandt-Young, Senior Staff Attorney, (212)
644-8644 Rebecca Rodgers, Staff Attorney,
(212) 644-8644 Beth Israel Medical Center, St.
Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and
Continuum Health Partners Agree to Landmark Class Action Settlement to
Improve Health Care Services for New Yorkers with Disabilities New
York, NY—October 12, 2017— Beth Israel Medical Center, St.
Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, and
Continuum Health Partners (collectively, the “Heritage Continuum
Hospitals”) have agreed to a comprehensive long-term plan to improve
access to health care for patients and hospital visitors with
disabilities. The agreement settles a 2013 lawsuit brought in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York by Plaintiffs United
Spinal Association, Inc., an organization dedicated to enhancing the
quality of life of all people living with a spinal cord injury or
disease, and Milagros Franco, Jean Ryan, Christina Curry and Ellen Rubin,
individuals with mobility, vision and hearing disabilities who each
sought medical care at a Heritage Continuum Hospitals facility. The
settlement is the result of extensive negotiations between the Heritage
Continuum Hospitals (now part of The Mount Sinai Health System) and
Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) on behalf of Plaintiffs, with the
assistance of attorneys from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP. The agreement
provides for the following:
- Identifying and remediating architectural barriers at more than 10
separate hospitals and outpatient facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn
operated by the Heritage Continuum Hospitals.
- Identifying existing accessible medical equipment and purchasing
additional accessible medical equipment where needed, such as
adjustable-height examination tables that people with mobility
disabilities can use independently.
- Developing and implementing policies and procedures to ensure equal
healthcare access for patients and visitors with disabilities in
numerous areas, including access to documents in alternative formats
for people with vision disabilities, providing sign language
interpreters for Deaf individuals, access for individuals with service
animals, and handling patient complaints.
“People with disabilities need equal access to medical care,” said
Plaintiff Jean Ryan. “We expect that this agreement will eliminate
barriers for patients and visitors with disabilities at the Heritage
Continuum Hospitals so that we have the same quality of care as patients
without disabilities.” “Access to quality healthcare is a critical
priority for our members,” said Jim Weisman, CEO and General Counsel of
United Spinal Association. “This settlement is an important step toward
improving health care outcomes for patients with disabilities.” “We
at the Harlem Independent Living Center are happy this was resolved and
the Deaf/disabled community will have access to medical care without
encountering further barriers,” said Christina Curry, Plaintiff and
Executive Director of the Harlem Independent Living Center. “The
Heritage Continuum Hospitals’ commitments under this important
settlement will resolve many of the healthcare access issues faced by
patients and visitors with disabilities, which can frequently lead to
worse health outcomes,” said Christina Brandt-Young, Senior Staff
Attorney at DRA. “We look forward to seeing significant progress in the
rights of people with disabilities in these important New York City
medical institutions.” “We are delighted to be able to assist our
co-counsel Disability Rights Advocates in reaching this ground-breaking
settlement that makes major progress towards improving accessible
healthcare for thousands of hospital patients and visitors with
disabilities served by these major New York medical institutions,” said
David J. Abrams, partner and pro bono coordinator at Kasowitz Benson
Torres LLP. The agreement is available at
About Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) DRA is the leading non-profit
disability rights legal center in the nation. With offices in New York
City and Berkeley, California, DRA’s mission is to advance equal rights
and opportunities for people with all types of disabilities nationwide.
DRA represents people with the full spectrum of disabilities in complex,
system-changing class action cases. Thanks to DRA’s precedent-setting
work, people with disabilities across the country have dramatically
improved access to health care, employment, transportation, education,
disaster preparedness planning, voting, and housing. To learn more
about Disability Rights Advocates, About
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP’s core focus is
commercial litigation, complemented by our exceptionally strong
bankruptcy/restructuring and real estate transactional practices. We are
committed to pursuing aggressive and innovative approaches to our
clients’ most challenging legal matters. Our clients include Fortune
500 companies, private equity and other investment firms across a wide
range of industries, including significant experience across financial
services (banking, investment management, and insurance), technology,
and real estate. To learn more about Kasowitz Benson Torres, Press Contacts Christina Brandt-Young
Senior Staff Attorney, Disability Rights Advocates (212) 644-8644 Rebecca Rodgers Staff Attorney, Disability
Rights Advocates (212) 644-8644
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