The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the transformative membership and advocacy organization of blind Americans, and two blind Cleveland residents—Theresa McKenney and Shirley Patterson—have filed a lawsuit against Exact Care, an Ohio-based mail-order pharmacy. The lawsuit claims that Exact Care failed to provide critical prescription information in accessible formats despite knowing that the two individual plaintiffs were blind when it solicited their business and receiving repeated requests from them for accessible information. Ms. McKenney, Ms. Patterson, and the NFB are represented by BGL Managing Partner Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum and attorney Jamie Strawbridge, along with John Marshall, Sam Schlein, and Louis A. Jacobs of Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC.
Both of the individual plaintiffs were blind or had low vision when they began using Exact Care’s services and were specifically told by company representatives that the service would be more useful and convenient for them. But despite repeatedly requesting instructions in alternative formats (such as large print or audio) with the company’s “ExactPacks” containing their individualized prescription doses, they claim that Exact Care ignored their requests. As a result, they experienced difficulties in understanding dosage instructions, potential side effects, and medication interactions. This caused serious adverse health outcomes, including kidney damage and heart disease, and accompanying emotional distress. According to the complaint filed in federal district court for the northern district of Ohio, Exact Care’s conduct violates provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (because Exact Care receives federal funds through Medicare and Medicaid) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as Ohio law.
“Exact Care promised to make medication management for these blind and low-vision patients easier and less stressful, but did exactly the opposite,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “Even after receiving repeated requests from them, Exact Care refused to implement the simple and readily available solutions that they recommended, and which are already being used by pharmacies large and small across America. We demand that Exact Care compensate Ms. McKenney and Ms. Patterson for harming them, and that the company take immediate action to provide accessible information to blind customers, ensuring they can manage their medications safely and independently. Accessibility is not a matter of mere convenience, but a fundamental right that is essential to living a healthy, productive life.”
“For decades, Brown, Goldstein & Levy worked alongside the NFB to help blind or low-vision individuals—like Theresa McKenney and Shirley Patterson—overcome access to barriers across all parts of society,” said Managing Partner Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum. “Ms. McKenney and Ms. Patterson did not ask for special treatment from Exact Care. They merely asked, repeatedly, for the same treatment as their counterparts without disabilities, as is required by the law.”
ABOUT SHARON KREVOR-WEISBAUM
Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum takes great pride in her role as Managing Partner of Brown, Goldstein & Levy while continuing her active practice on behalf of a varied client base. Clients and colleagues alike recognize Sharon as a trusted advisor willing to share her extensive experience, knowledge of the law, passion, and sense of justice openly and freely. She strives to develop deep client-lawyer relationships that emphasize the unique voice and needs of each one of her clients. Learn more about Sharon here.
ABOUT JAMIE STRAWBRIDGE
Jamie Strawbridge’s practice includes cases involving civil rights, disability rights, housing discrimination, and commercial litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Jamie worked as an associate at Covington & Burling, where he represented clients in a wide variety of civil matters at the trial level and on appeal. Learn more about Jamie here.
Founded in 1982, Brown, Goldstein & Levy is a law firm based in Baltimore, Maryland, with an office in Washington, DC. The firm is nationally recognized in a wide variety of practice areas, including complex civil and commercial litigation, civil rights, health care, family law, and criminal defense. Above all else, Brown, Goldstein & Levy is a client-centered law firm that brings decades of experience and passionate, effective advocacy to your fight for justice.