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Hospital patient dumped in LA ends up wandering Skid Row; sues for negligence

By Hayley Fox
Published: Monday, February 06, 2012, at 12:35PM
via Flickr IK's World Trip

Over the past few years there have been multiple instances of "patient-dumping" on Skid Row.

In one of the most recent "patient-dumping" cases in Los Angeles, a lawsuit was filed Friday against White Memorial Medical Center for allegedly dumping their patient, Jesse Bravo, on Skid Row on Feb. 11, 2011.

Bravo, a married father of four, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, is suing for abuse of a dependent adult, emotional distress, false imprisonment, and negligence.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Bravo said he started hearing voices and feeling paranoid about nine years ago. This led to his mental illness diagnosis, attempted medical treatments and multiple hospital stays.

In January 2011, Bravo went to stay with his mother in East Los Angeles while his wife was at home recuperating from surgery, the L.A. Times reports. He started drinking, his paranoia returned and an ambulance ended up taking him to the hospital where he stayed for two weeks.

According to the lawsuit, Bravo's wife Laura said she called the East L.A. hospital daily and visited her husband there on a regular basis. She said the hospital didn't inform her when her husband was going to be discharged and when she showed up on Feb. 11, she discovered he had left hours earlier.

This is how the lawsuit details what happened to Bravo over the course of two days after he was discharged:

  • Bravo was handcuffed with plastic restraints by hospital employees. He was then put into a van even though he protested, asking to be taken to his family.

  • He was dropped off on the sidewalk in front of a transitional living facility. Bravo wasn't escorted into the facility and he ended up abandoned and wandering Skid Row.

  • During the 48 hours after Bravo was released, he was attacked and ended up with a dislocated shoulder.

Police officers eventually found Bravo on Feb. 13.

Over the last several years there have been multiple, highly publicized instances of Los Angeles hospital patients being dumped, often in their hospital gowns, down on Skid Row.

In April 2009, a $1.6 million settlement against College Hospital was reached, charging the hospital with dumping 150 mentally ill patients on Skid Row over the course of two years.

Bravo's lawsuit was filed by Public Counsel last week against White Memorial Medical Center and Dr. Michael Hernandez.

Public Counsel is a not-for-profit law firm with a track record of taking on patient-dumping cases, starting with an incident in 2006 that involved a woman in a hospital gown being dumped on Skid Row.

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