Jury rules against state-run psychiatric hospital in Nevada in patient dumping case

Behavioral health services play an important role in helping patients suffering from mental health issues. But, such patients face challenges while availing healthcare facilities. A Las Vegas jury has awarded James Flavy Coy Brown $250,000 in a patient dumping case. A class-action lawsuit was filed against a state-run psychiatric hospital in Nevada that abused mental health patients out of state, without providing proper care or discharge planning as reported by The Sacramento Bee.


According to Mark Merin, a civil rights attorney based in Sacramento, Calif., who filed the lawsuit, this class-action lawsuit identified 371 patients, including 11 who testified during the trial.

A prior investigation by The Sacramento Bee found that a Las Vegas-based Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital abused about 1,500 patients out of Nevada between 2008-13.

One-third of these patients were sent to California, including Mr. Brown. The hospital didn’t organize any follow-up care or housing for these individuals once they got off the buses. Thus, many became homeless, arrested or re-hospitalized.

The jury has declared that each patient involved in class-action suit should receive the same amount as Mr. Brown, which adds upto a multimillion-dollar penalty for the state. Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital requires to update its discharge policies to ensure patient safety.