Friday, October 14, 2011

Hospital Settles Suit

A New Hampshire hospital will pay a fine to settle a lawsuit over interpreting. Besides paying a $25,000 feral fine, in the next 90 days, Cheshire Medical will start a program to make sure interpreters are present when needed in medical situations. The hospital has also agreed to make two staff members available to help find interpreters 24 hours a day, come up with a list of potential freelance interpreters, and keep records of requests for the service. The lawsuit stems from a visit two years ago by Laura Waldren, who came to the hospital for a visit and needed an interpreter. The hospital was aware of her visit two days before she came but no interpreter was provided. A few days later, no interpreter was provided for her during an emergency room visit. The staff tried to use a video interpreting system, but it failed to work. Waldren's mother interpreted for her and the same thing happened during a follow-up visit. Ironically, the hospital settled a lawsuit six years ago by agreeing to have patients sign a waiver, if they agree to see a doctor without an interpreter.

No comments: