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Saint James Health to pay deaf patient $70K in settlement

Franciscan St. James Health will pay a deaf patient who endured a four-day stay at a hospital without a sign language interpreter a $70,000 settlement.

The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the health care provider after a deaf patient was denied a sign language interpreter throughout her hospital stay, according to a statement from the DOJ.

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires health care providers to ensure communications with people with hearing disabilities are as effective as those for people without disabilities.

The hospital will pay $70,000 to the patient under the settlement, according to the statement.

Additionally, St. James will ensure its hospitals provide auxiliary aids and services to people who are deaf; utilize grievance resolution systems; designate an ADA administrator; post notices of its effective communication policy; train personnel on effective communication requirements of the ADA; and file compliance reports, according to the statement.

St. James Health has hospitals in Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields. A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.