A special education teacher with a bipolar disorder sued a Cerritos psychiatric hospital Tuesday, alleging she was discharged in 2017 with little ability to care for herself despite staff promises to her mother to hold the plaintiff there until she arrived.
The 34-year-old plaintiff is identified only as Jane Doe in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit she brought against College Hospital-Cerritos, alleging dependent adult abuse, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
The hospital discharged “an unstable, paranoid, bipolar and medicated woman in an unfamiliar location, abandoning and dumping Jane Doe to join the ranks of the homeless, all at great risk to plaintiff’s safety and well-being,” the suit alleges.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.
A representative for the hospital could not be immediately reached.
Since 2008, Doe has had a psychiatric history of manic depression and generalized anxiety, with recurrent mania psychosis, the suit states. She usually is able to treat her disorders and has been under regular psychiatric care with doctors at the USC, the suit states.
In April 2017, Doe, who worked as a special education teacher, went missing from her Canoga Park home, leaving her cellphone, identification and her dog, the suit states.
Doe was arrested shortly thereafter by Huntington Beach police for speeding and evading a peace officer and given a citation, the suit states. She was later released by the HBPD and subsequently was reported missing by her mother, according to the suit.
Doe was found by Fountain Valley police in May 2017 and told them she was homeless, the suit states.
The Crisis Stabilization Unit of the Orange County Health Care Agency placed Doe at College Hospital-Cerritos, the suit states. While Doe was a patient at College Hospital, the staff failed to obtain an accurate patient history and neglected to provide adequate treatment and post-discharge care, the suit alleges.
Doe’s mother learned of her daughter’s whereabouts and was promised by a staff member that Doe was not be discharged before she got there, the suit states.
However, as Doe’s mother left the administration building of the hospital with two College Hospital supervisors, she saw her daughter walking through the parking lot by herself leaving the hospital, the suit states.
Doe “began to run and disappeared into the streets of Cerritos,” the suit states.
Following her discharge from College Hospital, Doe spent nearly two weeks homeless on the streets without warm clothing, money, identification, or medication, the suit states.
During her ordeal, Doe “was injured and suffered greatly,” according to the complaint.
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