Fust v. First Urology
First Urology is a full-service urological medical and imaging practice with roughly twenty locations in Kentucky and Indiana.
First Urology is required by law to buy equipment and train its staff to help people with disabilities lift onto examination and imaging tables. Instead, First Urology has a written policy stating that patients requiring assistance to transfer from wheelchairs and other mobility devices to examination tables or other diagnostic equipment must provide their own assistive devices necessary to ambulate for procedures, and must bring a friend, family member, or attendant to help move them to the table. First Urology’s policy creates additional barriers to health care, hinders independence, and interferes with the privacy of patients with disabilities.
Despite the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act 30 years ago, patients with disabilities continue to face pervasive discrimination in access to health care, resulting in less comprehensive and subpar medical care and treatment. It is well-documented that – due to access barriers – patients with all types of disabilities experience significant disparities in the standard of care received from health providers. This frequently results in unmet medical needs, placing patients with disabilities at greater risk for secondary conditions, longer-term health problems, and even death. Refusal to examine or treat a patient on an examination or imaging table is a recurring barrier to providing proper and comprehensive care to patients with disabilities.
Plaintiffs Elizabeth Fust, David Allgood, and Marcus Gray have spinal cord injuries and use wheelchairs for mobility. Plaintiff Center for Accessible Living supports and advocates for the independence of people with disabilities throughout the state of Kentucky, including patients of First Urology.
First Urology offers a wide range of imaging services to patients without disabilities, but refused to serve Ms. Fust at any of its twenty locations and told her she had to seek the same imaging at a hospital because it will not help her transfer to a table for the imaging. Mr. Allgood and Mr. Gray have had to bring family members to their First Urology appointments to help them transfer, which is inconvenient and violative of their privacy.
First Urology failed to correct its unlawful policy even after receiving three letters from Ms. Fust and her attorney, asking for the policy to be changed.
First Urology’s ongoing practice of systemic discrimination strips patients with disabilities of their rights under laws including Title III of the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act.
This lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to require First Urology to purchase and provide accessible medical equipment, and seeks an order requiring First Urology to institute policies, procedures, and training appropriate to the provision of medical care to patients with mobility disabilities.