Nevada Patient Busing

Nevada faces civil rights lawsuit in patient busing controversy

The American Civil Liberties Union and a Sacramento attorney plan to file a lawsuit later today alleging that Nevada's largest psychiatric hospital violated the civil rights of patients by busing them outside of the state with no plan for care.

Sacramento attorney Mark Merin said the class-action lawsuit against Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital will be filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas this afternoon. A news conference detailing the lawsuit has been scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Rawson-Neal has faced scrutiny since The Bee revealed earlier this year that the hospital had discharged one of its patients, James Flavy Coy Brown, to a Greyhound bus bound for Sacramento in February. Brown, a schizophrenic who had been living in Las Vegas shelters, had never been to Sacramento. The hospital nevertheless gave him a one-way ticket to the capital city with no arrangements for his treatment or housing.

The Bee later determined that Rawson-Neal had bused about 1,500 mentally ill patients to cities across the country in the past five years. The hospital has maintained that the vast majority of those patients were properly reunited with family or friends, and had an appropriate plan for treatment.

Call The Bee's Phillip Reese, (916) 321-1137.

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