CHARLESTON -- A woman claims she suffered severe emotional distress after her doctor referred her to another clinic, saying he could not treat her because of her paralysis.
Jodi Cope filed a lawsuit July 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Dr. Randall Hill.
In her complaint, Cope, who has cerebral palsy and requires a wheelchair to ambulate, claims she attempted to be seen by Hill. Cope had an ultrasound July 25, 2012, at Charleston Area Medical Center that uncovered cysts and other conditions, the suit states.
The ultrasound was performed upon the request of Cope’s primary care physician, Dr. Robert Johnston, who recommended she see an obstetrics and gynecology specialist after review of the ultrasound, according to the complaint.
Cope’s appointment with Hill was scheduled for Aug. 16, 2012. During the appointment, a nurse came in, explained the results of the ultrasound to Cope, then told her she would be referred to Women’s and Children’s Hospital because Hill’s office did not have the staff to handle her disability, the complaint says.
Cope claims Hill violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act that declares disabled people should have access to public places. Although the act does not explicitly list a doctor’s office as a public place, Cope contends it provides services to the public and should accept all patients.
Cope wants the court to prevent Hill’s office from refusing to accept patients with disabilities. She also seeks compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorney’s fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.
She is being represented by attorney Regenia L. Mayne of West Virginia Advocates in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis H. Bloom.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 14-C-1249