Skip to Search
Skip to Main Content
Main Content

Reminder to health care providers: You have a duty to accommodate HIV-poitive patients

October 14, 2015

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is responsible for enforcing Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on a disability by places of public accommodation. On Oct. 5, 2015, DOJ announced a settlement with Mercy Suburban Hospital in East Norriton, Pennsylvania that resolved allegations that the hospital refused to treat an HIV-positive patient.

In its press release, the DOL states:

According to the United States’ allegations, in 2013, an HIV-positive patient was turned away from a Mercy bariatric facility without evaluation or treatment because the patient was HIV-positive. Under title III of the ADA, no person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation may discriminate against an individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation.

The hospital agreed to pay $20,000 to the complainant and a $5,000 civil penalty.

This case serves as a useful reminder of the ADA’s application outside of the employment context. All businesses that qualify as places of public accommodation under the ADA should train their employees to understand their obligations to reasonably accommodate disabled patrons.

Media Contact 

If you have a media request or need an attorney with particular knowledge for comment, please contact Kyle Mondy, Marketing & Communications Manager, at 414.287.9481 or


Subscribe today to receive firm newsletters and blogs, client updates, seminar announcements, and more according to your preferences and areas of interest.

Disclaimer and Legal Notices

Copyright © 2023 Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.

Attorneys at Law - All rights reserved.


Client Login