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WASHINGTON (June 20, 2011) – At the annual Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon hosted June 16, 2011, by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP Partner Lewis S. Wiener and Associate Wilson G. Barmeyer received the Lawyers’ Committee's prestigious award for outstanding service in the disability rights area. This award was given in connection with the firm's pro bono representation in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a deaf couple who were denied sign language interpreter services in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
Sutherland, working with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee and the National Association of the Deaf, represented the deaf couple in a case against Inova Health System and Inova Fairfax Hospital alleging the hospital failed to provide the couple with appropriate interpreter services during the birth and ensuing protracted medical stay involving their newborn son. The case was resolved through the entry of a consent decree that, among other things, requires the hospital to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services to patients and patients' companions who are deaf or hard of hearing and sets a new national standard for effective communication in the hospital setting.
“We are honored to have been able to assist these individuals in this very meaningful case," said Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman. “The outcome not only vindicated the individuals' rights, but resulted in significant changes to the manner in which hospitals communicate with their deaf and hard of hearing patients and their companions that will enhance the welfare of the entire deaf community."
SUTHERLAND ASBILL & BRENNAN LLP
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving sophisticated legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm handles matters throughout the United States and worldwide. Seven major practice areas—corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax—provide the framework for an extensive range of focus areas, allowing Sutherland attorneys to serve a diverse client base that ranges from small and medium-sized start-up businesses to a significant number of Fortune 100 companies.