MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota man who was denied an American Sign Language interpreter has reached a settlement with one of the state’s largest health providers after his newborn faced an uncertain future.
The court battle began four years ago after Stella Svatos was born at Range Regional Medical Center in Hibbing.
Her father, Matthew, is Deaf. Court document say when she was born, there were complications.
Over the course of several days, the couple repeatedly asked for an interpreter. The hospital denied those requests.
Instead, Julie Svatos says the hospital left it up to her to sign for her husband.
“A lot of these terms I’m hearing for the first time and trying to understand. There’s no way I could express so that my husband could get the same information, so it was a really stressful time for us,” Julie said.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights sued Fairview because law requires providing an interpreter.
In a statement, Fairview says it is unable to discuss specific patients, but says, “Fairview does comply with the law, and we take our obligations under the law to provide effective means of communication very seriously.”