A hospital in Glendale has been fined $700,000 in civil penalties by the City of Los Angeles after dumping a sick homeless patient on Skid Row this summer. This comes after an epidemic of hospital negligence cases where Los Angeles hospitals have been accused of dumping homeless, mentally ill, and disabled patients on the 50 block poverty and crime stricken area in downtown Los Angeles.
The lawsuit was filed by Los Angeles City Attorney Michael Feuer in response to an allegation that the hospital has been violating city policy for the discharge of homeless patients by dumping them on Skid Row for the past four years. He has handled similar cases like this within Los Angeles County and is currently in talks with the Association of Southern California to create a universal patient discharge policy for disabled, mentally ill, homeless patients in Southern California. “Patient dumping will not be tolerated, and we will continue to work aggressively until it ceases to exist,” Says Feuer. “Every patient, whether they’re homeless or housed, reserves the right to recuperate with dignity.” At least $100,000 of the money awarded in the lawsuit will go towards homeless support services, with the rest going to civil fees.
Patient dumping has become a common occurrence in California with a Montebello and a Sun Valley hospital both being fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for negligent treatment of homeless and mentally ill patients, and a class action lawsuit was filed against the state of Nevada for dumping similar patients in various California cities just last year.
The first hospital negligence lawsuit brought about as a result of patient dumping was recorded in 2006, when scandal rocked the world after major hospital chain, Kaiser Permanente, was revealed to use patient dumping as a common practice. Since then, steps have been taken to reduce the risk of patient dumping, but despite efforts, rescue missions in the downtown area have been reporting an increased number of mentally ill people in Skid Row, and homeless shelters reaching capacity for the first time in years. “We’re not really sure why we’re seeing this influx, but we’re going to have to think about some new off-site facilities to handle this increase of people,” says CEO of Union Rescue Mission, Andy Bales. “There’s more people on Skid Row, and more of them are struggling with mental illness.”
If you have suffered from damages due to hospital negligence, the law firm of Hodes Milman can provide you with the assistance you need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call (949) 640-8222 for a complimentary case evaluation.