Wheelchair users who’ve experienced issues accessing nursing care or medical services due to a facility’s failure to properly accommodate them.
What’s Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking into whether lawsuits can be filed against nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other healthcare establishments across the United States that may lack the necessary policies, equipment and procedures to provide wheelchair users equal access to services.
How Could a Lawsuit Help?
A successful case could force the facility to make changes that would ensure accessibility for wheelchair users. It could also provide patients with compensation for violations of their rights under state and federal disability laws.
What You Can Do
If you’ve faced an accessibility issue at a skilled nursing facility, nursing home, assisted living home, rehabilitation center, doctor’s office, hospital or other healthcare establishment, fill out the form on this page to learn more about the investigation. After you get in touch, an attorney or legal representative may reach out to you directly to explain how you may be able to help get a lawsuit started.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org want to hear from wheelchair users who’ve encountered accessibility barriers at a nursing home, assisted living facility or other healthcare establishment.
They suspect that facilities nationwide may be failing to provide wheelchair users with proper accommodations, such as accessible exam rooms or transfer equipment. It’s believed that facilities with limited accessibility may have unlawfully discriminated against these individuals by denying them equal access to care.
In light of these concerns, the attorneys are looking to file lawsuits to help eliminate these barriers and create more inclusive environments for patients with disabilities.
If you’ve faced accessibility challenges at a skilled nursing facility, assisted living home, nursing home, rehabilitation center, doctor’s office, hospital or any other healthcare facility, you may be able to take action. Fill out the form on this page to learn more about your options.
It doesn’t cost anything to get in touch, and you’re under no obligation to file a lawsuit after speaking to someone about your rights.
What Kinds of Healthcare-Related Accessibility Issues Can Wheelchair Users Experience?
Wheelchair users may struggle to have their nursing care and medical needs met due to a lack of accessible:
Exam tables or chairs
Body weight scales
Waiting area seating
Exam equipment for procedures such as mammography, x-ray, MRI, etc.
Transfer equipment, such as overhead track lifts
Some patients or residents may have also encountered staff members who were not adequately trained to assist wheelchair users.
What Does the Law Say About Accessibility in Nursing Homes and Healthcare Facilities?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in places of public accommodation—including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private doctors’ offices, hospitals and clinics.
As part of this requirement, nursing homes and healthcare providers must accommodate people with mobility disabilities by removing physical barriers. This could involve installing doorways wide enough for wheelchair access or making sure exam rooms have enough space for wheelchair users to make a 180-degree turn.
Nursing homes and healthcare facilities are also responsible for having accessible medical equipment available to those who need it. For instance, medical facilities should have on hand an adjustable height exam table with enough space alongside it to transfer a patient from their wheelchair.
Finally, the ADA requires these entities to make reasonable adjustments to their policies, practices, procedures and services to ensure patients or residents with disabilities have equal access to their services.
In addition to the ADA, most states have their own disability rights laws and accessibility codes. These laws can either have stricter, more lenient or similar requirements to the ADA. However, where a state statute conflicts with the ADA, the federal law ultimately takes precedence and overrides the state law.
For more information on how healthcare facilities are required to accommodate people with mobility disabilities, check out these guidelines from ADA.gov.
What Facilities Are Being Looked Into?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating lawsuits on behalf of residents or patients who encountered an accessibility issue at any of the following places:
Skilled nursing facilities
Assisted living homes
Lab and imaging centers
Physical therapy centers
This list is not exhaustive.
How Can Lawsuits Help Facilitate Access for Patients with Disabilities?
A successful lawsuit could force the establishment being sued—whether it be a nursing home, doctor’s office or any other care facility—to make necessary changes to ensure its property and services comply with state and federal regulations.
In these cases, the facility could be required to:
Change physical infrastructure to remove barriers
Modify policies or procedures to ensure individuals in wheelchairs have full access to services
Purchase accessible equipment
Train or retrain staff on the rights and treatment of wheelchair users
Be subject to monitoring of required changes to ensure compliance
For example, a 2020 settlement in a lawsuit against Tufts Medical Center has required the hospital to ensure that at least 10 percent of its patient rooms contain an accessible toilet room, shower and height-adjustable bed. A successful lawsuit could also serve as a warning to other care facilities that may not be acting in compliance with state and federal disability requirements.
Some states also allow for the collection of statutory damages, meaning that those involved in a successful case may be entitled to a monetary award. For instance, in California, any violation of the ADA constitutes a violation of the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which provides damages of $4,000 per offense.
What You Can Do
If you feel your or a family member’s care was hindered by accessibility barriers at a nursing home, hospital or other medical facility, attorneys working with ClassAction.org want to hear about it. It costs nothing to get in touch or to speak to someone about your rights, so fill out the form on this page today for more information.