Justice Department vs Fairfax Nursing Center to pay $97,500 for not providing a Sign Language interpreter

The Justice Department announced that the Fairfax Nursing Center (FNC) has agreed to pay $97,500.00 to resolve allegations that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide effective communication services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in the provision of medical services. The investigation, conducted by the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, began with a complaint from the companions (daughter and granddaughter, both of whom are deaf) of a patient at FNC that the skilled nursing facility failed to provide them with appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including a sign language interpreter, during critical interactions with FNC’s staff regarding the patient’s treatment plan and medical care. The Settlement Agreement required FNC to: (1) adopt policies and procedures that ensure that individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing – patients and companions- receive auxiliary aids and services that insure effective communication; (2) train its staff on the ADA’s effective communication requirements; (3) pay $80,000.00 to the complainants and $5,000.00 to the United States to vindicate the public interest; and (4) establish a fund of $12,500.00 to sponsor training on the ADA’s requirements for others in the Virginia nursing facility industry.

To find out more about the ADA or this matter, call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY), or access its ADA.gov website.