Jane Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller, P.L.L.C.

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    Case: 19-10169 Document: 00515284303 Page: 1 Date Filed: 01/24/2020 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT United States Court of Appeals No. 19-10169 Fifth Circuit FILED January 24, 2020 JANE CUMMINGS, Lyle W. Cayce Clerk Plaintiff – Appellant v. PREMIER REHAB KELLER, P.L.L.C., doing business as Premier Rehab, P.L.L.C., Defendant – Appellee Appeal from the United States District Court Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division Before STEWART, CLEMENT, and HO, Circuit Judges. EDITH BROWN CLEMENT, Circuit Judge: Jane Cummings sued federal funding recipient Premier Rehab Keller, P.L.L.C. (“Premier”) for disability discrimination. Cummings sought equitable relief and damages under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Texas Human Resources Code. Premier filed a motion to dismiss Cummings’s claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The district court granted Premier’s motion, reasoning that, though Cummings had standing to sue, she failed to state a plausible claim for damages under any of the cited statutes, and that she failed Case: 19-10169 Document: 00515284303 Page: 2 Date Filed: 01/24/2020 No. 19-10169 to allege facts supporting her standing to seek equitable relief. Cummings appealed. We AFFIRM the district court’s judgment. I. Cummings has been deaf since birth and is legally blind. She has difficulty speaking, reading, and writing in English; she primarily communicates in American Sign Language (“ASL”). In October 2016, she contacted Premier, which offers physical therapy services, to treat her chronic back pain. She requested that Premier provide an ASL interpreter. Premier refused, but told her that she could communicate with the therapist using written notes, lipreading, and gesturing, or bring her own ASL interpreter. Cummings told Premier she couldn’t communicate using those methods, and as a result, she went to another physical therapy provider. She alleged that the other provider’s care was “unsatisfactory.” Cummings contacted Premier twice more to request an interpreter, for a total of three requests between 2016 and 2017. Cummings also alleged Premier “told her to look for a different physical therapy center that provided interpreters.” Although she received treatment at the other facility, Cummings says she was “forced to live with ongoing back pain as a result of her inability to receive quality therapy services,” and still wishes to receive treatment from Premier. Cummings sued Premier for disability discrimination, seeking injunctive relief and damages. She alleged that Premier violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) of 1990 § 302, 42 U.S.C. § 12182; the Rehabilitation Act (“RA”) of 1973 § 504, 29 U.S.C. § 794; the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) of 2010 § 1557, 42 U.S.C. § 18116; and the Texas Human Resources Code § 121.003, TEX. HUM. RES. CODE § 121.003. Premier moved to dismiss these claims, contending that Cummings lacked standing to sue and failed to state a claim upon which relief could be 2 Case: 19-10169 Document: 00515284303 Page: 3 Date Filed: 01/24/2020 No. 19-10169 …Original document

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