U.S. Attorney Office reaches new settlement with Brown Dermatology to improve services for deaf or hard of hearing patients

State House

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The Attorney’s Office has announced earlier this Thursday morning that Brown Dermatology has agreed to resolve allegations that it violated the American Disabilities Act (ADA) in its care of patients that are hard of hearing.

The Office began the investigation after a complaint from a guest alleging Brown Dermatology failed to provide sign language interpreters for a deaf family member. As a result, the guest had to interpret for their family member, which was an uncomfortable position for the guest. The Attorney’s Office also found that Brown Dermatology failed to accommodate this guest with an interpreter from 2018 to 2022, at least 12 medical appointments. This was the case for seven separate deaf patients as well.

Under paperwork signed on January 20, Brown Dermatology agreed to: enroll procedures that ensure that patients who are deaf or hard of hearing receive auxiliary aids and/or services that ensure communication, train its staff on the ADA’s communication requirements; and (3) pay $31,000 in settlement. Under agreement terms, $17,500 will be paid to the patient who is deaf; $3,500 will be paid to her family member (for association discrimination), and $10,000 will be paid as a civil penalty to the United States. Brown Dermatology fully cooperated with the investigation and settlement.

 The case was investigated by Assistant United States Attorney Amy Romero alongside the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.

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