Garcia v. Yale New Haven Hospital
Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act permits plaintiffs to obtain injunctive relief and does not permit them to recover monetary damages. The plaintiff, who is paralyzed, alleged that the defendant hospital did not treat him properly, and he acquired pressure sores that required surgical debridement. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant hospital's bathrooms were not fully accessible. The plaintiff filed suit against Yale-New Haven Hospital and requested damages in the amount of $5 million. Previously, a court granted the defendant hospital's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's medical-malpractice count, because the plaintiff failed to file a certificate of good faith, as required by Connecticut General Statutes §52-190a. The defendant hospital also moved to dismiss the plaintiff's discrimination-in-public-accommodations count, because Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code §12182(a), does not permit monetary damages. Title III provides, "No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation." The defendant hospital qualifies as a private entity that provides a "place of public accommodation." Title III permits successful plaintiffs to obtain injunctive relief and does not permit them to recover monetary damages for discrimination. The plaintiff requested damages in the amount of $5 million and did not request injunctive relief. The plaintiff failed to allege an Americans With Disabilities Act claim on which relief may be granted. To the extent that the plaintiff alleged a claim pursuant to C.G.S. §46a-64(a), which is the State of Connecticut's equivalent of Title III of the ADA, the Connecticut statute provides for enforcement via fines or incarceration and does not provide a private cause of action for discrimination in public accommodation. The court granted Yale-New Haven Hospital's motion to strike.