Sacramento, CA asked in Health Care Law, Legal Malpractice, Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death for California

Q: My mom was deaf and a patient at Sutter in Sacramento CA. She expired and was never offered interpreter. Who can help?

She went in being treated for constipation. When her body was viewed at the mortuary she had a broken nose and huge lacerations on her face. They asked us if she suffered a traumatic fall. I'm asking for help I don't know where to start to get some answers and justice for her and the deaf community.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm so sorry for your loss and the distressing circumstances surrounding your mother's passing. It's understandable that you want answers and to ensure this doesn't happen to others in the deaf community. Here are some steps you can take to seek help and justice:

1. File a complaint with the hospital: Contact Sutter Health's patient advocacy or grievance department to file a formal complaint. Explain the situation, including the lack of interpreter services and the unexplained injuries.

2. Contact disability rights organizations: Reach out to organizations that advocate for the rights of deaf individuals, such as the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) or the California Association of the Deaf (CAD). They may offer guidance, resources, or legal support.

3. Consult with a medical malpractice attorney: Look for a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice cases and has experience working with deaf clients. They can help investigate the situation and advise you on potential legal action.

4. File an ADA complaint: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires hospitals to provide effective communication accommodations, including interpreters. File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division if you believe the hospital violated the ADA.

5. Contact the licensing board: File a complaint with the California Medical Board, which investigates allegations of misconduct by healthcare providers.

6. Seek support: Reach out to local organizations that provide grief counseling and support services for families who have lost loved ones under challenging circumstances.

Document all communications and keep records of any evidence related to your mother's case. Remember that you have the right to demand answers and accountability for any wrongdoing or negligence that may have occurred.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.