Settlement Agreement between the United States of America and Knoxville Chiropractic Centers, Under the American With Disabilities Act, (2012)

Pleadings and Briefs

This settlement agreement stems from a complaint, filed with the United States Department of Justice, which alleged that Knoxville Chiropractic Centers (Knoxville Chiropractic) refused to treat an individual on the basis of his HIV status in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Knoxville Chiropractic is a Tennessee-based company owned and operated by Dr. Woodrow Gwinn, Jr. It is a private entity but considered a place of “public accommodation” because it is a service establishment. Under Title III of the ADA, no person who owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation may discriminate against an individual on the basis of disability. HIV is considered a physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Therefore, a person with HIV has a disability according to the ADA.

Following an April 28, 2011 automobile accident, an individual sought treatment from Knoxville Chiropractic. It was Knoxville Chiropractic’s policy at the time not to treat patients with HIV. The United States determined that Knoxville Chiropractic discriminated against the patient by denying him the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the services and facilities of Knoxville Chiropractic on the basis of disability.

Under this settlement agreement, Knoxville Chiropractic agreed to not discriminate against any individual on the basis of HIV, draft a policy stating that it does not discriminate in the provision of services to persons with disabilities, provide training on Title III of the ADA to all Knoxville Chiropractic employees, and pay a fine in the amount of $10,000.