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Federal Court Allows Provider Discrimination Complaint against the City of San Gabriel to Proceed
Complaint Stems from City’s Rejection of Proposed Dialysis Center
May 18, 2016

On June 18, 2016, the U.S. District Court for Central California issued an order in large part denying the City of San Gabriel’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the City’s denial of conditional use permits for construction of a dialysis center.  

On March 16, Hooper, Lundy & Bookman (HLB) and LTL Attorneys sued the City of San Gabriel, California and Councilmembers Kevin Sawkins, Juli Costanzo, John Harrington and Jason Pun on behalf of Dr. Lakhi Sakhrani, a leading doctor and researcher in the treatment of serious kidney disease.

Dr. Sakhrani worked closely with city staff for almost 18 months to ensure that the building complied with the city codes. The city’s planning commission approved permits for the project, but the project was blocked on appeal by the city council because of the opposition of wealthy homeowners of neighboring properties.  

The lawsuit challenges the refusal of the city to allow Dr. Sakhrani to build a new, state-of-the-art dialysis center that will provide much needed care to low income, Medi-Cal residents in the City of San Gabriel.   The complaint alleges that the city violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Unruh Civil Rights Act in discriminating against patients with disabilities.  The lawsuit also alleges that the city council members were biased, had conflicts of interest, and failed to provide Dr. Sakhrani with a fair hearing.        

In its ruling, the court allowed Dr. Sakhrani to proceed with his lawsuit. The court also held that the City Council members who were individually named as defendants are not immune from liability for their actions. 

“We are very pleased with the court’s ruling,” said Daron Tooch, one of the lead attorneys in the case.  “We are confident that we will prevail in this case and that Dr. Sakhrani will be able to build his much needed dialysis center."

For more information, please contact Daron Tooch, at 310-551-8192 or dtooch@health-law.com.

For media inquiries, please contact Barrett McBride at 916.456.5855.