United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
ROBERT B. MANSELL, Sr., KATHY MANSELL, and KEN MANSELL, Plaintiffs,
MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, Defendant.
SCHANZLE-HASKINS, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Memorial Medical
Center's (Memorial) Motion to Dismiss Counts IV and V of
Plaintiffs' Complaint (d/e 6) (Motion). The parties have
consented to proceed before this Court. Consent to the
Exercise of Jurisdiction by a United States Magistrate Judge
entered August 12, 2019 (d/e 12). Memorial moves to
dismiss the claims of Plaintiffs Kathy Mansell and Ken
Mansell for failure to state a claim and for lack of
statutory standing. For the reasons set forth below, the
Motion is GRANTED.
purposes of the Motion, the Court assumes that all
well-pleaded factual allegations in the Complaint are true
and draws all inference in favor of the Plaintiffs. See
Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir.
Robert Mansell, Sr. (Robert Mansell) is deaf. Robert Mansell
is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Robert Mansell has
limited ability to read and write English; he has a very
limited ability to lip read, and he can articulate a few
basic words in English. Plaintiffs Kathy Mansell and Ken
Mansell are not deaf. Kathy Mansell is Robert Mansell's
ex-wife and friend. Ken Mansell is Robert Mansell's
brother. Kathy Mansell is fluent in ASL. Ken Mansell has some
ability to communicate in ASL but has no formal training.
Kathy Mansell and Ken Mansell have no knowledge of medical
terminology or ASL signs for medical terminology.
Complaint, ¶¶ 3-5.
Plaintiffs live in Jacksonville, Illinois. On Saturday,
November 24, 2018, at 2:20 a.m., Robert Mansell drove himself
to the emergency room at Passavant Hospital (Passavant) in
Jacksonville, Illinois, because he had chest pains. Robert
Mansell had a history of congestive heart failure, colon
cancer, anxiety, and depression. Passavant had an ASL
interpreter on-site to interpret for Robert Mansell and the
doctors. The doctors at Passavant transferred Robert Mansell
to Memorial in Springfield, Illinois, by ambulance. The Court
takes judicial notice that Passavant is approximately 40
miles from Memorial by motor vehicle. At Robert Mansell's
request, a doctor at Passavant contacted Memorial's staff
to request an on-site ASL interpreter to be present at
Memorial when Robert Mansell arrived. Complaint,
Saturday, November 24, 2018, at approximately 6:43 a.m.,
Robert Mansell arrived at Memorial. He remained at Memorial
until he was discharged on Monday, November 26, 2018. When
Robert Mansell arrived, no ASL interpreter was present. He
wrote a note asking for an ASL interpreter. The nurse brought
Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) equipment to the examination
room instead. The nurse did use the VRI equipment in his
room. The nurse may have not known how to use the VRI
equipment or the equipment may have not functioned properly.
See Complaint, ¶¶ 15, 23.
Saturday, November 24, 2018, at approximately 9:30 a.m.,
Kathy Mansell arrived at Memorial. Kathy Mansell asked if
Robert Mansell would be provided with an on-site ASL
interpreter. She was told that Memorial did not provide
on-site ASL interpreting. Robert Mansell was not in an
emergency involving an imminent threat and did not ask for
Kathy Mansell to interpret. The staff asked Kathy Mansell to
interpret. She reluctantly agreed. Kathy Mansell told
Memorial staff that she was not a licensed, qualified
interpreter and did not know medical terminology.
Complaint, ¶ 17. On November 24, 2018, at 11:03
a.m., the Memorial Social Services nurse recorded that Robert
Mansell's preferred method of communication was ASL.
Complaint, ¶ 16.
Mansell underwent a series of tests at Memorial. Kathy
Mansell interpreted for Robert Mansell because he had no
other means to communicate with Memorial doctors and staff.
The tests showed that Robert Mansell had atrial fibrillation
with a rapid ventricle rate. Complaint, ¶ 18.
Mansell was also identified as a fall risk and ordered not to
get out of bed. During the day on November 24, 2018, Kathy
Mansell used the call button to ask for assistance for Robert
Mansell to get out of bed and walk to the restroom. Robert
Mansell had no other means to communicate this request.
Memorial staff delayed responding, so Kathy Mansell helped
Robert Mansell to the bathroom. Complaint, ¶
Mansell left Memorial at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Saturday,
November 24, 2018. Robert Mansell had no interpreter to
assist him in communicating with Memorial doctors and staff
for the rest of the day or overnight. Robert Mansell's
son-in-law called to request an interpreter. None was
provided. Complaint, ¶ 22.
Sunday morning November 25, 2018, Plaintiff Ken Mansell came
to see his brother Robert Mansell at Memorial. Ken stayed
until Robert Mansell was discharged on Monday November 26,
2018. Ken Mansell asked about an on-site ASL interpreter.
Memorial staff told Ken Mansell that Memorial used VRI
interpretation. The VRI equipment, however, was not
functioning properly. Ken Mansell alleges that he was forced
to interpret for Robert Mansell. Ken Mansell told staff that
he only knew the basics of ASL and was not fluent and was not
certified as an ASL interpreter. Complaint, ¶
November 25, 2018, Memorial staff ran tests on Robert Mansell
without the presence of Ken Mansell or any other person who
could interpret. On Monday, November 26, 2018, a cardiologist
from Memorial refused to use the VRI equipment to communicate
with Robert Mansell. The cardiologist spoke to Ken Mansell
about Robert Mansell's condition. On November 26, 2018 at
approximately 4:30 p.m., Robert Mansell was discharged from
Memorial. Robert Mansell received written information about
his diagnosis, treatment, and recommended follow-up. He did
not understand the written information. Complaint,
Mansell alleges that he intends to return to Memorial for
follow-up care because Passavant cannot provide the type of
needed care and because his cardiologist is located in
Springfield. Complaint, ¶ 27.
on these allegations, Robert Mansell brings claims against
Memorial for injunctive relief and damages for violations of
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12101-12189; the Rehabilitation Act (RA), 29
U.S.C. § 704; and the Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act, 42 U.S.C. § 18116. Complaint, Counts
Mansell and Ken Mansell each brings a claim for damages
against Memorial for violation of the RA, 29 U.S.C. §
704 (Counts IV and V). Kathy Mansell alleges the following
violations of her rights under the RA:
32. At all relevant times herein, Memorial knew that
Plaintiff had federally protected rights to effective
communication, and Defendant's acts and omissions alleged
herein violated and continue to violate the Rehabilitation
Act and its implementing regulations in one or more or all of
the following manners as defendant has discriminated against
A. Denying her the opportunity for the full and equal
enjoyment of Memorial's goods, services, facilities,
privileges, advantages, or accommodations.
B. Denying her the opportunity to participate in or benefit
from Memorial's goods, services, facilities, privileges,
advantages, or accommodations.
C. Offering or affording her services that are not equal to
those services afforded to other individuals who are
companions to patients who are not deaf.
D. Failing to make reasonable modifications in policies,
practices, or procedures, which are necessary to afford
Memorial's goods, services and facilities to Plaintiff
where such modifications would not fundamentally alter the
nature of its goods, services or facilities.
E. Intentionally requiring Plaintiff to interpret for Robert,
when Defendant knew that Plaintiff was a family member and
not a licensed interpreter, and Robert did not ...