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The post below was published on Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 at 10:46 PM.

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First District: ADA, Public Accommodations

This decision presents an interesting situation. A hospital patient filed a complaint against the hospital with the Florida Human Relations Commission, asserting that the hospital discriminated against her under the Americans With Disabilities Act and Florida law by refusing her request for a sign language interpreter.

Whether the complaint could proceed turned on whether the hospital qualified as a public accommodation. Generally, hospitals are not public accommodations, but the hospital had a cafeteria, and if the hospital held itself out as serving patrons of the cafeteria, it would qualify as a public accommodation.

The Commission dismissed the complaint, without any fact finding, based on its conclusion that the hospital was not a public accommodation. The First District reversed and directed the Commission to undertake a factual examination.

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