Prosecutors have filed civil complaints against two hospitals and a transportation service accusing them of dumping homeless patients on Los Angeles Skid Row, including a paraplegic man found crawling in a gutter.
Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles and 334-bed Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, Calif., were accused of dumping two patients each in the downtown area over 14 months. The four people were sent there not by informed choice and without any plan for followup medical care so that the hospitals could rid themselves of the expense of caring for them, according to the compaints.
Empire Enterprises, whose van driver allegedly left paraplegic Gabino Olvera at a Skid Row park as spectators protested, was named as a co-conspirator. Olvera, 54, was found wearing a soiled hospital gown and a colostomy bag.
The complaints, filed Tuesday, seek fines against the hospitals and a court order banning the practice of dumping patients. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo is trying to use a state law concerning unfair business practices against the hospitals.
Kaylor Shemberger, executive vice president at CHA Health Systems, the parent company of 410-bed Hollywood Presbyterian, issued a statement saying Olvera told the van driver where to drop him off, against hospital policy.
Following this incident, we instituted several new policies and intensified training to make sure nothing of the sort happens again, Shemberger said.
Methodist Hospital said its officials wanted to review the complaint before commenting. -- by the Associated Press