LAS VEGAS — In a crushing blow to the ACLU, A federal judge has dismissed a patient dumping lawsuit against the troubled Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital essentially stating that, even though the hospital provided the patient dumping tools, they did not force patients to leave the hospital.
Rawson-Neal is accused of patient dumping in at least 1,500 cases. Patients at the hospital were discharged, provided with three days worth of medication, placed on Greyhound buses and shipped off to other states.
The patients suffered from mental health issues and ended up in California where they had no family, friends or money. Social services in other states said they were overwhelmed with the influx of patients from Las Vegas and scrambled to find them mental health assistance, housing and securing
James Flavy Coy Brown was one of those patients.
A homeless Las Vegas man, Brown ended up at Rawson-Neal after suffering a psychotic episode. He was kept at the hospital for three days and claims that a doctor at the facility told him he would enjoy “Sunny California” much better.
Brown was given three days worth of three different anti-psychotic medications, snacks and Ensure and provided with a one-way bus ticket to Sacramento, where he knew no one.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on his behalf and hundreds of others that suffered similar fates and are currently weighing their options for any further actions. A representative for the ACLU said,
We clearly disagree with the decision the federal court came out with and are disappointed in the findings and the decision of the judge.
In addition to the patient dumping allegations, the problem plagued Rawson Neal hospital has already lost their accreditation from the Joint Commission, an independent agency that accredits hospitals nationwide, and has not appealed the ruling.
The hospital also failed a federal inspection, did not satisfy the requirements of a correction plan issues and remains in danger of losing federal funding.