Minton v. Dignity Health (Sex Discrimination)

Status:
Active Case
Sep 26, 2017

The ACLU Foundation of Northern California, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, and the law firm Covington & Burling LLP filed a lawsuit against Dignity Health for withholding medical care because of a patient’s gender identity, amounting to sex discrimination in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.

Evan Minton, 35, is a transgender man who was scheduled to receive a hysterectomy in August at Mercy San Juan Medical Center, a hospital in the Dignity Health chain. Two days prior to the appointment, a nurse called to discuss the surgery and Minton mentioned that he is transgender. The next day, the hospital canceled the procedure.

Dignity Health regularly allows hysterectomies for patients who are not transgender and Minton's doctor at Mercy San Juan Medical Center said this is the first time the hospital prevented her from doing this surgery. She said it was clear that the surgery was canceled because Minton is transgender.

Dignity Health is the 5th largest healthcare system in the country and the largest hospital provider in California, with 29 hospitals across the state.

In 2017, Dignity Health moved to dismiss the lawsuit, and the San Francisco Superior Court ruled in Dignity Health’s favor. The ACLU appealed the decision, and the appeal is pending in the First Appellate District.