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DRLC Sues Riverside County Medical Center for Discrimination Against Patients and Visitors with Disabilities

  • Published: 2014-05-22 : DRLC (disabilityrightslegalcenter.org).
  • Synopsis: Lawsuit alleges Ms. Goldkorn experienced a range of disability related access issues at the Medical Center as a patient and as a visitor.

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Quote: "A civil case, such as this one for money damages and structural changes, is sometimes the only way to get facilities to make modifications they are obligated to have made under federal and state laws"

Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) has filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Riverside County and Riverside County Regional Medical Center on behalf of Ruthee Goldkorn, an individual whose primary diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) requires her to utilize a wheelchair for mobility.

The lawsuit alleges that Ms. Goldkorn experienced a wide variety of disability-related access issues at the Medical Center, both as a patient in the emergency room and as a visitor to the Center.

According to the suit, Ms. Goldkorn was unable to enter examination stations, use an examination table, access the Radiology Department or have her blood drawn in the phlebotomy station due to the medical center's failure to comply with state and federal laws created to notify owners of facilities open to the public that they must provide access to people with disabilities.

After Ms. Goldkorn filed an initial complaint in April 2012, the Head of Risk Management for the County investigated and acknowledged multiple areas within the hospital not in compliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, the hospital made no modifications and remains in violation of disability laws.

"The lack of care provider training and the lack of accessible facilities jeopardized my health and my ability to receive the level of trauma care expected from this hospital," stated the Moreno Valley resident Goldkorn.

"A civil case, such as this one for money damages and structural changes, is sometimes the only way to get facilities to make modifications they are obligated to have made under federal and state laws," explained Paula Pearlman, Executive Director of Disability Rights Legal Center. "It is unfortunate that a hospital, whose mission is to 'focus on individuals and populations in need,' continues to fail our disability community."

DRLC, part of the Public Interest Law Center of Loyola Law School Los Angeles, specializes in civil rights cases on behalf of persons with disabilities to promote change and educate the disability, business, government, education, cancer and legal communities to avoid common issues that result in discrimination. DRLC partners with other public interest law offices and private law firms to litigate systemic issues and advocate for legislative improvements. Since its founding in 1975 by friends and colleagues of A. Milton Miller, the Center has reached well over a million individuals through its community outreach and training events.

More here: https://disabilityrightslegalcenter.org/drlc-sues-riverside-county-medical-center

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