Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital agrees to settlement following ADA violation allegations

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 4:46 PM CDT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WSAW) - U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Gregory Haanstad announced on May 22 the U.S. settled a claim that Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee Inc. failed to provide sign language interpretative services to a patient who is deaf, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Under the settlement agreement, CSM will pay $35,000 to the patient. Additionally, CSM has reviewed and revised its existing policies. The hospital also has and will conduct additional training on the ADA, and CSM has agreed to report any future complaints of possible ADA violations to federal authorities.

The government’s investigation determined that in December of 2017, the patient who is referred to as CG, was recovering from surgery at CSM. The hospital provided adequate ALS interpreter care for CG prior to the surgery, but not after. They also didn’t consult with CG about her need for those services and no interpreter was provided during her discharge from the hospital.

Instead of providing a qualified interpreter, CSM relied on CG’s mother as well as other aids and services that did not provide adequate or effective communication between CG and hospital staff.

As a result, CG did not fully understand the nature of care and medical decisions being considered for her.

Title III of the ADA requires public accommodations to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated, or otherwise treated differently because of the absence of appropriate auxiliary aids or services. A public accommodation must also provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities and with companions of patients who are individuals with disabilities.

For more information on the ADA, visit or call the ADA information line at 800-514-0301.