TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced a settlement on Monday with a South Jersey nursing and rehabilitation facility to resolve allegations of disability discrimination.
The Medford Care Center allegedly failed to accommodate the disability of a deaf patient in 2012 by continually denying her the services of a sign language interpreter during a six-month stay. In some instances, the patient was allegedly not aware of certain medical procedures that were going to be performed on her because of the lack of sufficient communication.
"Patients who are deaf or hard of hearing must be able to comfortably, and effectively, communicate with their care givers," Hoffman said.
"This settlement is important because it ensures, going forward, that Medford Care will engage in an interactive process with deaf and hard of hearing patients, and that those whose communication needs are best served through use of a sign-language interpreter will be accommodated. Let this case serve as a reminder to other health care facilities that they have the same duty to provide effective communication under the law."
Under the terms of the agreement, the Medford Care Center must engage in an interactive process with deaf or hard of hearing patients and provide individuals with a certified sign language interpreter for communications related to their cases if that is what the patients prefer. The facility also agreed to train all of its personnel on the new policy.