A now bankrupt Hawaiian Gardens hospital will pay $450,000 to resolve allegations that its staff illegally dropped off a homeless schizophrenic patient in Skid Row in just her hospital garb, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Tuesday.
Feuer sued Gardens Regional Hospital and Medical Center last year, alleging that its staff failed to follow proper discharge protocols in “dumping” a patient who was homeless and mentally ill in Skid Row.
The hospital has since filed for bankruptcy and will be paying the $450,000 in civil penalties once the court approves the sale of the hospital, according to Feuer’s office.
Feuer alleged that the hospital drove the 38-year-old schizophrenic woman in a van to Skid Row and dropped her off in front of the Union Rescue Mission, an emergency shelter and homeless services provider. The van bore the hospital’s former name, Tri-City Regional Medical Center.
The woman was found wandering around Skid Row wearing hospital paper tops and bottoms, according to the lawsuit. She did not have money, identification nor medication, and no shelter accommodations appeared to have been arranged for her, according to Feuer.
The city attorney’s lawsuit also alleged that the same woman was improperly discharged at least five previous times.
Feuer called patient dumping “an unconscionable practice” and said the settlement “underscores our commitment to ensure that every patient, regardless of housing status, be treated with dignity and respect when he or she is discharged.”
–City News Service
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