San Francisco Sues Nevada over Dumping of Mentally Ill

Sunday, September 15, 2013
(photo: Family Court Chronicles)

A Nevada psychiatric hospital accused of busing its patients off to other states faces legal action filed by San Francisco.


Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital of Las Vegas allegedly dumped 1,500 mental patients onto other states by giving them one-way bus fare out of Nevada.


About 500 of the patients were sent to California, including 24 who showed up in San Francisco. Like other cities that received the individuals suffering from mental health disorders, San Francisco was forced to spend its own resources (about $500,000) to care for the patients.


The city claims “virtually all” of the patients dumped in California required continuing medical care, something the Nevada hospital failed to arrange for. The complaint also notes that “many of these patients were not California residents” at the time they were discharged and put on buses.


City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of all local governments in California, said in a prepared statement: “Homeless psychiatric patients are especially vulnerable to the kind of practices Nevada engaged in, and the lawsuit I've filed today is about more than just compensation—it's about accountability.”


Herrera added that the hospital’s actions were “horribly wrong on two levels: it cruelly victimizes a defenseless population, and punishes jurisdictions for providing health and human services that others won’t provide. It’s my hope that the class action we’re pursuing against Nevada will be a wake-up call to facilities nationwide that they, too, risk being held to account if they engage in similarly unlawful conduct.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

S.F. Says Nevada Is Dumping Mental Patients (by Jonny Bonner, Courthouse News Service)

S.F. Sues to Recoup Costs for Patients 'Dumped' by Nevada Hospital (by Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times)

Nevada’s Solution to Mentally Disturbed . . . Ship Them to California and Other States (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Steve Rosenberger 5 years ago
Where is DOJ + FBI? Shipping human beings with medical needs across state lines MUST violate federal law(s). Human trafficking. Kidnapping. Smuggling. Throw the scum that run such "hospitals" IN PRISON. This is unconscionable.

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