OAKLAND, Calif., April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by GWILLIAM, IVARY, CHIOSSO, CAVALLI & BREWER: In January 2003, John Mannick, a man with multiple sclerosis who requires a wheelchair for mobility, was admitted to Kaiser's Oakland facility for one week's hospitalization. Immediately, he realized the hospital was not equipped to handle his needs as a disabled wheelchair user. Kaiser did not have even one patient room in its entire facility that was accessible for the disabled. The most basic accommodations were lacking -- no accessible toilet or shower. During his stay, John was put in danger while Kaiser staff attempted to shower him on a slippery bench in an inaccessible shower in the maternity ward; was humiliated and embarrassed when his sister had to pour pitchers of water over him to shower him while staff and visitors peered on; and was outraged that one of the best known hospitals did not have proper accommodations for its disabled patients. Following his stay, John met with representatives of Kaiser Oakland. He was promised that Kaiser would change its facility to provide access for its disabled patients. After Kaiser broke its promise to add one accessible patient room by the end of 2003, Paul Rein, a well known disability rights lawyer, filed a lawsuit against Kaiser on behalf of Mr. Mannick. As Mr. Rein explains: "It's outrageous that, 15 years after the passage of the ADA, Kaiser still has no accessible patient rooms or shower facilities, and has denied all legal responsibility for its inaccessible conditions." In September 2005, Kaiser agreed to the entry of a consent decree and court order, which required that it provide substantial access for the disabled, including improved disabled parking and three accessible patient rooms with accessible toilets and showers. The first of the accessible patient rooms, along with the disabled accessible parking, were ordered by the Federal Court to be completed by the end of 2005, but Kaiser has still not complied. Recently, Gary Gwilliam, a distinguished trial attorney, joined the team of Paul Rein and Patricia Barbosa for the trial against Kaiser on claims of physical and psychological damages, and treble damages. Mr. Gwilliam stated that: "John's outrage is felt by all of us; the fact that such a reputable hospital does not have even one single accessible toilet room for its disabled patients is despicable. What Kaiser is saying, not only to John but to all disabled patients, is that 'we don't have any responsibility to change.'" A jury trial is scheduled in the Northern California Federal District Court for August 7, 2006 in the case. Attorneys Paul Rein and Gary Gwilliam will be present with John Mannick at the Press Conference. Press conference to be held on April 12, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. at the law firm of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer, 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1600, Oakland, California 94612. For further information contact J. Gary Gwilliam at 510-832-5411. The Court Order, Complaint, and other supporting documents will be available at the press conference.
SOURCE The Law Firm of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer