Clinic facilities

DOJ and Dental Clinic in Des Moines, Wash. Resolve Complaint of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Violation | USAO-WDWA

Seattle – The U.S. Department of Justice and the Center for Endodontic Care, Inc. d/b/a Dental Specialty Clinic (DSC) have resolved a complaint that the clinic failed to provide interpretation services to a deaf patient , announced the American lawyer Nick Marron. The clinic is committed to making a number of improvements to ensure appropriate interpretation services for deaf clients. The plaintiff in the case will receive $45,000 in compensation for the discrimination she suffered.

“Effective communication with patients is essential in medical and dental appointments, and attendant aids and services are required by law for patients who need them,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said. “Our office is a leader in bringing these cases on behalf of Washingtonians who are deaf or hard of hearing. I hope providers will evaluate and improve their services for the deaf and hard of hearing before complaints like this require federal intervention.

According to the settlement agreement, the plaintiff scheduled emergency dental treatment with the Specialized Dental Clinic (DSC) in June 2020. The plaintiff had been informed by her regular dentist that due to the pain she was suffering, she needed to have her wisdom teeth removed and possibly another tooth, as well as a possible root canal. DSC told the patient that it was likely that there would be no sign language interpreter available. The complainant understood that she would be contacted if an interpreter was not available. However, the clinic did not contact her and when she arrived for treatment there was no interpreter. She was unaware that she had accepted the extraction of seven teeth, which had caused her significant physical pain and emotional distress.

In addition to the $45,000 compensation to the patient, DSC agrees to institute new procedures such as the use of an intake form for effective communication with each patient and the retention of this information in each patient record. patient. The clinic will contract with a qualified interpreting service provider to ensure that there are in-person or video sign language interpreting services during its opening hours. The clinic agrees not to use a family member for such interpretation services unless there is an emergency or an imminent threat to safety, or if the patient requests that the family member provides the interpretation. The Clinic will post notices regarding its interpreting services in the Clinic and on its website.

The clinic agreed to provide training to all of its employees on the new procedures, record keeping and how to access interpreter services. For three years, the Clinic will provide reports and records, along with copies of any complaints, to the United States Attorney’s Office to ensure the Clinic’s compliance with this agreement.

For more information about our office’s civil rights program or to file a complaint, go to: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdwa/civil-rights

The clinic has cooperated fully with the US Attorney’s office investigation. The settlement was brokered by Assistant United States Attorney Matt Waldrop.