Several New York City-based health care institutions have agreed to update their buildings and infrastructure to make them accessible for patients and visitors with disabilities, settling a years-long lawsuit.

As part of a settlement agreement filed Thursday, Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, and Continuum Health Partners—which are now part of the Mount Sinai Health System—have agreed to identify and update architectural barriers at more than 10 hospitals and outpatient facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn to make them compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The United Spinal Association and several disabled individuals filed a lawsuit in 2013 in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York after they had sought care at a Heritage Continuum Hospitals facility. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit were represented by Disability Rights Advocates, which sued the MTA over persistent elevator outages in New York City subway stations (NYLJ, April 25), and New York City-based Kasowitz Benson Torres.

As part of the settlement agreement, the health care facilities also have to purchase additional medical equipment, such as height-adjustable examination tables that people who have mobile disabilities can use without the help of another person.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit did not seek damages, but rather “fixes of these systemic problems,” said David Abrams, a partner at Kasowitz.

“We’re hoping that this is a model that can be adopted in other hospitals,” Abrams said during a phone interview Thursday. “This is a problem at many health care facilities.”

A consulting firm retained by the defendants will perform surveys at health care facilities and then once completed, the facilities will have a five-year window to make adjustments to their facilities, such as bathrooms that are ADA-compliant and wheelchair accessible, Abrams said.

The agreement also requires developing and putting in place policies to make sure that visitors and patients have equal access, including providing sign language interpreters and access for individuals with service animals.

A spokeswoman for Mount Sinai Health System said the health system, which merged with Continuum Health in 2013, “is committed to ensuring all patients have access to high quality, exceptional patient care. Ensuring full access to all our hospitals by any member of the community has always been and always will be our founding principal. We are pleased to have this matter resolved and look forward to continuing to serve the entire New York community. ”

The agreement also requires developing and putting in place policies to make sure that visitors and patients have equal access, including providing sign language interpreters and access for individuals with service animals.

Abrams said litigating this sort of settlement is a first for Kasowitz Benson Torres. Name partner Marc Kasowitz’s clients include President Donald Trump. He declined to say whether the firm is in conversations with other health systems over similar allegations that facilities aren’t accessible for the disabled. “I can say we’ve been in discussions about that,” Abrams said.