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Woman Denied Breast MRI Due to Her Disability
October 29, 2012
News source: Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee
Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court
Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee (DLAC) has filed a lawsuit in federal district court on behalf of Stephanie Cook who was denied MRI services due to her disability. The lawsuit contains claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The lawsuit names as defendants Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center PLLC (KCBC PLLC) and KCBC founder Kamilia Kozlowski, M.D.
Cook has a family history of breast cancer. She was alarmed when she felt a lump in her right breast during the summer of 2011. Her gynecologist agreed with Cook’s concerns and referred her for a diagnostic mammogram. After Cook obtained that mammogram at Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center (KCBC), staff at KCBC prescribed a follow up MRI. Cook has paraplegia (is paralyzed from the waist down) and uses a wheelchair. When Cook made the MRI appointment months in advance and in person, she informed KCBC that she would need some assistance moving onto the MRI equipment.
On the day of her appointment, December 30, 2011, KCBC called and told Cook they would not do the MRI since she needed help getting onto the MRI equipment. When she attempted to explain ways they could assist her, KCBC told her that their MRI services are only available to persons who are physically able to hop up and stand. In phone calls on the day KCBC refused services to her and in a follow up letter, Cook made numerous attempts to explain ways KCBC could easily assist her. She also attempted to educate KCBC about the ADA’s requirement that health care facilities such as KCBC take reasonable steps for people with disabilities to be able to use their medical equipment. To date, KCBC continues to refuse to provide this critical medical service to Cook solely because she has a mobility disability.