GHV Successfully Opposes Summary Judgment Against Plaintiff Ivan Batista

We are pleased to announce that the Court denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on three of Plaintiff Ivan Batista’s four claims in the case Batista v. Saint Barnabas Hospital, 1:17-cv-08346 (S.D.N.Y.).  We are co-counsel for plaintiff Ivan Batista in his lawsuit.   

Mr. Batista, who is deaf, was hit by a van on September 1, 2016, and transported to St. Barnabas Hospital in an ambulance.  The medical staff was informed that Ivan was deaf, but he was not provided with an American Sign Language (“ASL”) interpreter while he was in the emergency room.  Ivan was then transferred to a room in the ICU, and a nurse attempted to utilize a Video Remote Interpreting machine (“VRI”) to communicate with him.  The VRI was connected, but failed to provide effective communication, because the screen froze.  

During Ivan’s stay and medical treatment in Defendants’ facility, from September 1, 2016 to September 13, 2016, Defendants’ failed to ensure effective communication between Ivan and his doctors, even though Ivan and his family members requested an ASL interpreter.  The Defendants never provided an ASL interpreter.  They failed to successfully operate the VRI services that they attempted to provide.  Defendants’ medical staff also attempted to communicate with Mr. Batista through his sister and mother and by writing notes; these attempts did not lead to effective communication between Ivan Batista and the medical staff. 

After discovery, extensive summary judgment briefing and oral argument, the Court found there were genuine disputes of material fact as to whether the hospital effectively communicated with Mr. Batista, and also as to whether the hospital was deliberately indifferent to Mr. Batista’s communications needs.       

Tanesha Navarro

GHV has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Tanesha Navarro, a deaf woman from the Bronx, New York, against the Mount Sinai Health System, Inc. and the Mount Sinai Hospital, for discrimination based on disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law.  

The suit relates to Ms. Navarro’s 3-day hospitalization at Mt. Sinai Hospital without effective communication, during the birth of her son.  Ms. Navarro communicates in American Sign Language and needs qualified sign language interpreters to participate in her own health care.  During her hospitalization, she repeatedly requested interpreters so that she could communicate with her healthcare providers, but the hospital, despite acknowledging an inability to communicate effectively, refused to provide interpreters and instead relied on gestures and other ineffective means of communication.  As a result, Ms. Navarro was unable to provide details about her medical history and was prevented from access to communication relating to tests, procedures, diagnoses, medications, and instructions for follow up care.  She experienced pain, confusion and great emotional distress because of the lack of effective communication.