LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has secured a settlement with Good Samaritan Hospital over allegations of homeless patient dumping. The settlement will establish permanent protocols for the appropriate discharge of homeless patients as well as yield $450,000 for homeless recuperative care, civil penalties and costs.
“Patient dumping is inhumane and must be stopped,” said Feuer. “I am pleased Good Samaritan Hospital has agreed to take the necessary steps to ensure some of our most vulnerable residents are protected.”
Feuer has made ending patient dumping a major priority of his administration settling four cases and securing nearly $2 million from defendant hospitals. Feuer filed litigation against Gardens Regional Hospital in 2015 and the case is set for trial in October.
The settlement requires Good Samaritan to implement detailed protocols for the discharge of homeless patients; enjoin the hospital from discharging homeless patients other than in accord with the protocols and require the hospital to provide enhanced training to personnel responsible for homeless patient discharges including how to access appropriate services for the homeless and mentally impaired following discharge.
With the settlement, Good Samaritan has agreed to donate $100,000 to Integrated Recovery Network, a Los Angles non-profit that assists homeless with housing, access to health care and jobs, to be used for developing innovative approaches to finding housing for discharged homeless patients and a separate $50,000 account to pay for recuperative care facilities. The hospital has also agreed to pay $200,000 in civil penalties and $100,000 in associated costs.
The settlement resolves allegations that Good Samaritan: allegedly discharged a homeless patient within the City of Los Angeles without preparing a proper discharge plan including appropriate arrangements for post-discharge care; without obtaining the patient’s informed written consent to be transported to a location other than a residence; and caused the patient to be transported to an environment within the City of Los Angeles in which the patient’s health was endangered. Good Samaritan has denied the allegations.
This settlement represents the first case involving allegations of patient dumping outside of the City Attorney’s designated “Patient Safety Zone”, an area of Downtown Los Angeles bound by the Pasadena Freeway (I-110) to the North; the Harbor Freeway (I-110) to the West; the Los Angeles River to the east; and Florence Avenue to the South As such, the City Attorney reiterates that patient dumping is prohibited by City Ordinance throughout the City of Los Angeles.
Deputy City Attorney Will Jay Pirkey handled the litigation.