Baptist settles suit over sign language interpreter - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Baptist settles suit over sign language interpreter

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Baptist Hospital has settled a lawsuit that could impact the way many hearing-impaired people are treated at hospitals and doctor's offices.

The lawsuit involves a deaf man who uses sign language to communicate.

Last year, Mike Gournaris was taken to Baptist after suffering a stroke. He said he requested an interpreter in writing, but that Baptist didn't provide one.

Gournaris said that for four days, he was unable to tell doctors about his symptoms or his medical history, nor were the doctors able to explain to him the treatment he was receiving.

The Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee negotiated the settlement.

Attorney Martha Lafferty said Baptist has agreed to provide interpreter services for deaf patients and put up signs telling patients about the services. Baptist has also agreed to train its staff about the policy and procedures to follow.

Baptist Hospital said its services were provided in compliance with all laws and Baptist's policies, but that it decided to settle in the best interest of all involved.

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