Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) along with co-counsel Transgender Law Center (TLC) and Foley Lardner LLP announced a settlement in Prescott v. Rady’s Children Hospital-San Diego (RCHSD), a federal lawsuit filed by the mother of a transgender teenaged boy who sued the hospital for discrimination against her son.
Katharine Prescott took her 14-year-old son, Kyler Prescott, to RCHSD in early April 2015 for suicidal ideation and for treatment of his serious self-inflicted injuries following an incident of transphobic harassment. The hospital was aware that Kyler was a transgender boy and Katharine made clear to hospital staff that her son must be treated as male for all purposes. But during his stay, hospital staff repeatedly addressed Kyler as a girl.
Twenty-four hours into his 72-hour stay, and after several failed attempts by his mother to correct the discrimination by the hospital, the hospital’s psychiatrist determined that despite his serious mental health state, Kyler should be discharged early from RCHSD rather than remaining for the full 72 hours. About five weeks later, on May 18, 2015, Kyler died by suicide.
“Transgender children deserve love, respect, and support” said Katharine Prescott. “I am relieved to have this case behind me as I continue to be a fierce advocate for transgender kids.”
“Any child or family in crisis should be able to seek out help without fearing discrimination from the very medical professionals who are supposed to care for them,” said Lynly Egyes, Director of Litigation at the Transgender Law Center. “It is harmful, dangerous, and wrong for hospitals to attack a transgender young person’s identity and deny them the freedom to be their authentic self.”
“Even though we have seen increasing legal protections for LGBTQ people around the country, transgender people continue to experience extremely high levels of discrimination and violence,” said Amy Whelan, a Senior Staff Attorney at NCLR. “We will not stop until everyone in our community is able to live authentically and free from discrimination.”
Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. www.TransgenderLawCenter.org.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) was the first national LGBTQ legal organization founded by women and brings a fierce, longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and our community’s most vulnerable. Since 1977, NCLR has been at the forefront of advancing the civil and human rights of our full LGBTQ community and their families through impact litigation, public policy, and public education. Decades ago, NCLR led the way by establishing the first LGBTQ Immigration Project, Transgender Rights Project, Youth Project, Elder Law Project, and began working to end conversion therapy through what is now the Born Perfect campaign. www.nclrights.org
Foley & Lardner LLP is a corporate law firm that provides practical solutions for complex business and legal issues facing companies today. With approximately 900 attorneys in 20 offices, Foley combines international reach with a local focus across a full range of legal services in various industries, including technology, health care, automotive and manufacturing. Foley has been recognized by clients and the legal industry for its strong commitment to client service excellence and innovation. Learn more at Foley.com.