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.