Byline: Derek Hawkins
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: Linda Reed v. Columbia St. Mary's Hospital
Case No.: 17-1469
Officials: EASTERBROOK, ROVNER, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges.
Focus: Abuse of Discretion ADA Violation
Plaintiff-appellant Linda Reed alleges that she suffered discrimination on the basis of her disabilities while she was a patient at defendant-appellee Columbia St. Mary's Hospital in March 2012. Among other things, she contends that the hospital failed to accommodate her disabilities by deliberately withholding from her a device she used to speak and discriminated against her by putting her in a "seclusion" room to punish her. She brought claims under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. 12181, which governs public accommodations offered by private entities, including hospitals, as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. 794, and the Wisconsin Mental Health Act, Wis. Stat. 51.61.
We reverse. The hospital raised its religious exemption affirmative defense to the ADA claims for the first time after discovery, in its...