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Kent Hospital Pays $30K ADA Settlement, $5K Fine

[CREDIT: CNE] Kent Hospital has earned the Baby-Friendly designation for their infant care coaching from Baby-Friendly USA.

[CREDIT: CNE] Kent Hospital has earned the Baby-Friendly designation for their infant care coaching from Baby-Friendly USA.
[CREDIT: CNE] Kent Hospital will pay a deaf person hospitalized there in 2021 $30,000 and pay a $5,000 fine in an ADA settlement for failing to provide communication during the patient’s treatment.
WARWICK, RI — Kent Hospital will pay a deaf person treated there in 2021 $30,000 and pay a $5,000 penalty as part of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) settlement agreement under the , resolving the patient’s complaint that the facility failed to provide effective communication for seven days.

United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha today announced  the agreement between the patient, who uses American Sign Language (ASL) as her primary means of communication, and  the hospital, an affiliate of Care New England Health System, on Tuesday.

According to Cunha’s office, the woman was hospitalized at Kent Hospital in December 2021, where staff failed to provide her with effective communication until the seventh day of her hospitalization, after multiple complaints by herself and a family member.

Because of Kent Hospital’s failure to provide an interpreter or other means of effective communication, the patient alleged that she experienced increased fear and confusion about her medical diagnosis and treatment. Kent Hospital cooperated fully with the investigation of this matter, which substantiated the allegations in the complaint, Cunha’s office stated.

Also under the terms of the agreement, Kent Hospital will adopt new ADA policies and practices that will deal with providing effective communication and securing qualified interpreters for patients; train its staff on these policies; report any future complaints; and cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to ensure ongoing compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement.

The United States’ case was handled by AUSA Amy Romero.

About the ADA

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in places of public accommodations, such as hospitals. It requires places of public accommodation to provide the necessary auxiliary aids and services to ensure that communication is effective. Such aids and services can include American Sign Language interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and must be paid for by the place of public accommodation.

The Department of Justice offers a number of publications available to assist entities in complying with the ADA, including Effective Communication and a Business Brief on Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hospital Settings. For more information on the ADA and to access these publications, visit or call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD).

Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that a place of public accommodation or public entity in Rhode Island is not accessible to persons with disabilities may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (401) 709-5000.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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