Top of page
Law

DOJ sues ophthalmology practice with 24 facilities for disability discrimination

Closeup of gavel in court room

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center PC (BDP), an optometry and ophthalmology medical provider, for discriminating against patients who, because of their disabilities, need assistance in transferring from their wheelchairs to the surgical table for outpatient eye surgery. BDP operates 24 facilities in Arizona.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Arizona, alleges that BDP violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by refusing to provide patients with disabilities the transfer assistance they need — assistance that is routinely provided by healthcare providers across the country. Instead, BDP requires these patients to hire third-party medical support personnel to transport them to and from BDP facilities and to provide transfer assistance at the facilities. Patients who are transported by third-party medical support personnel are brought into the facilities on gurneys or stretchers and are required to remain on them until surgery. This practice denies patients with disabilities full and equal access to BDP’s health care services and impermissibly imposes a disability-based surcharge on such patients by forcing them to pay extra for treatment.

“Discrimination on the basis of disability is unacceptable anywhere, and especially in the critically important area of health care,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Discriminatory healthcare practices deny individuals with disabilities access to essential services and can delay needed treatment. Through this lawsuit, the department continues to vigorously enforce the ADA, which has prohibited discriminatory treatment by medical providers for more than 30 years.”

Through the lawsuit, the department asks the court to stop BDP from discriminating against individuals with disabilities, including by training its staff to provide patients with assistance in transferring to and from their wheelchairs. The department also seeks money damages for those people who were harmed by BDP’s discriminatory policy, including those who were forced to pay for third-party transfer assistance in order to receive services.

You might also like

woman in wheelchair entering the elevator woman in wheelchair entering the elevator

Indian Railways to make travel easier for persons with disabilities

The Ministry of Railways on Tuesday announced that the Indian…

cropped shot of african-american man typing on laptop cropped shot of african-american man typing on laptop

E-Accessibility project supports persons with disabilities in Nigeria

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has deployed 84 assistive Information…

Judge with gavel at wooden table indoors Judge with gavel at wooden table indoors

EEOC sues Eagle Marine Services for disability discrimination

Eagle Marine Services Electrical & Refrigeration, LLC, a marine services…

Kurt Fearnley Kurt Fearnley

Paralympian Kurt Fearnley appointed new chair of the NDIA Board

Australian Paralympic legend and disability advocate Kurt Fearnley AO has…