Louisiana Record

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Paraplegic claims wheelchair was confiscated by nursing home

By The Louisiana Record | May 20, 2015


A disabled nursing home resident filed a lawsuit against his residential rehabilitation center on alleged discriminatory actions and breach of contract in a 2014 matter.

Travis Collins filed a complaint against the New Orleans Home for Incurables, doing business as John J. Hainkel Jr. Home and Rehabilitation Center on May 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, citing negligence and discrimination in a July 2014 incident.

The plaintiff, rendered paraplegic in an accident as a teenager, has resided at the defendant’s New Orleans facility since 1996. The lawsuit states that he is unable to operate a manual wheelchair and has relied on a power wheelchair for mobility.

Collins contends that the defendant confiscated his wheelchair since July 2014; refused to return it to him; declined him assistance in entering and exiting a power wheelchair; and has wrongfully claimed ownership of the machine, purportedly purchased for him by friends.

Claiming breach of contract, the plaintiff seeks an injunction requiring the defendant to return his property, provide assistance in using it and refrain from discriminating against him on the basis of his disability.

Collins seeks injunctive and declaratory relief under the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Requesting compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys' fees, expenses and court costs, he is represented by Nell Hahn and Laurie Peller of the Advocacy Center in Lafayette and New Orleans.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana case no. 2:15-cv-01468-CJB-SS.

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