- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - Mountain States Health Alliance is paying the federal government a $50,000 penalty after two parents accused a Johnson City hospital of not providing a qualified sign language interpreter while their daughter was dying.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee said in a news release that officials reached a settlement in the case Wednesday. It is the largest civil penalty any U.S. Attorney’s Office has received regarding effective communication in hospital settings.

Christopher and Donna Cantrell, both of whom are deaf, last year filed a discrimination complaint which has since been resolved out of court. The parents said the Johnson City Medical Center refused to provide qualified sign language interpreters to allow the Wise, Virginia, couple to participate in their daughter’s care as she died of cancer.


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