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Nevada 'Patient Dumping' Class Action

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Case background

City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a class action against the State of Nevada on behalf of California local governments to which indigent psychiatric patients were improperly bused from the state-run Rawson-Neal Hospital in Las Vegas. The lawsuit filed on Sept. 10, 2013 seeks a court-ordered injunction barring Nevada from similar patient discharge practices in the future, and reimbursement for San Francisco's costs to provide care to the patients bused there. The litigation makes good on Herrera's legal threat in a formal demand letter to Nevada's Attorney General last month, alleging that Rawson-Neal improperly discharged and unsafely transported at least two-dozen patients by Greyhound bus to San Francisco between 2008 and 2013. Herrera's investigation established that patients were transported without adequate food, water or medication, and without instructions or arrangements for their continued care when they reached their destination. Twenty of the patients required medical care shortly after their arrival in San Francisco -- some within hours of getting off the bus -- at a cost of approximately $500,000 to City taxpayers for medical care, shelter, and basic necessities.

In filing the suit, Herrera said: "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. What the defendants have been doing for years is 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."

Because of the widespread public interest and large number of public records requests from members of the news media and public about this case, the City Attorney's Office has created this page to aggregate available public records related to the case.



S.F. City Attorney presskits and documents

(In reverse chronological order)



U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services records

(In reverse chronological order)



State of Nevada records


(In reverse chronological order)

Many of the following documents were obtained through City Attorney Herrera's public records requests as part of his office's investigation, including his office's initial public records request of April 22, 2013.)



San Francisco requests for which Nevada had no responsive documents

The following requests from City Attorney Herrera's letter of April 22, 2013 produced no responsive records from the State of Nevada.

  • Copies of any reciprocal agreements from July 2008 to date between the Administrator of the Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services on the one hand, and any board; commissioners or officers of the State of California, on the other hand, for the mutual exchange of consumers confined in, admitted or committed to a mental health or mental retardation facility in one state whose legal residence is in the other, as authorized by Nevada Revised Statutes § 433.444.
  • Copies of records of written permission given by any board, commissioners or officers of the State of California for the return to California of any consumer confined in, admitted or committed to a mental health or mental retardation facility in the State of Nevada, from July 2008 to date (redacting personal information on patients or clients as required by law).
  • Copies of any records of approval of the Administrator of the Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services of the transfer of any non-resident of Nevada confined or admitted to a Division facility to the State of California pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes § 433.444, from July 2008 to date (redacting personal information on patients or clients as required by law). 


ACLU of Nevada litigation against Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and Sacramento civil rights attorney Mark Merin filed a class action lawsuit against Rawson-Neal on June 11, 2013. The named plaintiff in that litigation is James Flavoy Brown, whose busing to Sacramento was exposed in a series of reports by the Sacramento Bee.

 


 
Last updated: 3/19/2014 10:06:41 AM