San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera followed through yesterday on a threat to sue the State of Nevada for dumping mentally ill patients in his city and other cities in California.
According to a Sept. 10, KSVN News 3 report, Herrera filed a class-action lawsuit against the State of Nevada for allegedly busing indigent patients from Rawson-Neal Hospital, a state run, Las Vegas based, psychiatric hospital to cities in other states.
Through an investigation, Herrera “established that patients were transported without adequate food, water or medication, and without instructions or arrangements for their continued care when they reach their destination,” the News 3 report said.
Herrera claims 20 of the patients “required medical care shortly after their arrival in San Francisco” resulting in a $500,000 cost to taxpayers.
The Sacramento Bee reported in April 2013 that Rawson-Neal Hospital “had transported more than 1,500 patients to other cities via Greyhound bus, sending at least one person to every state in the continental United States,” since July 2008 - roughly one third of which had one-way tickets to California.
In the lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court, Herrera, in addition to the $500,000 restitution, is seeking an injunction “barring Nevada from similar patient discharge practices in the future.”
If successful, the lawsuit would establish a precedent for restitution which may benefit other jurisdictions that have been saddled with costs resulting from Rawson – Neal Hospital’s patient dumping practices.
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