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Hospitals Stop the Expansion of a Florida Statute before Appellate Courts


Through three different proceedings, Lash & Goldberg LLP defended hospitals against attempts by patients to expand the coverage of the Florida Civil Rights Act to hospitals licensed by the state.  In each case, the patients complained of disability discrimination and argued that the presence of a cafeteria on the hospitals’ respective premises transformed each hospital into a public accommodation subject to the Act.

In the first case, Lash & Goldberg LLP objected to an administrative law judge’s recommendation to require the Florida Human Relations Commission to investigate the complaint.  Instead, the Commission agreed with the Hospital that the Act did not cover private hospitals in Florida and therefore the Commission did not have jurisdiction to investigate the complaint.  On appeal, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal of the patient’s complaint.  The second and third cases went before the Third District Court of Appeal, which likewise affirmed the dismissal of the complaints.