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A Los Angeles hospital has paid $450,000 to settle a lawsuit after improperly discharging a homeless patient.
The ironically named Good Samaritan Hospital is the fourth LA hospital in less than three years to pay up rather than face going to court – taking the total amount up to $1.9m since January 2014.
City attorney Mike Feuer told Associated Press: “There is no place in our society for patient dumping. We all know how vulnerable any of us would be when we’re released from a medical facility. Imagine how much more vulnerable one would feel if one were released and had no place to go.”
The case involves a former patient who was found on the streets in December 2014 with a visibly infected leg, after having been discharged with only a bus token. The hospital denies the allegations.
Similar allegations have been made in the UK. Last year the Pavement reported on a special ‘people’s enquiry’, led by experts with experience of homelessness, which found a number of shocking cases, including a suicidal young man with severe mental health problems who was discharged on a cold night without a coat, money or food.