Shocking Case Puts Patient Dumping Back in the Spotlight
Laura and Jesse Bravo
Public Counsel helped expose the problem of patient dumping by Los Angeles hospitals and change it. But a new case we filed Friday that was featured in the Los Angeles Times puts the issue back in the spotlight.
Jesse Bravo lives at home with his family, but he suffers from a severe mental illness that led to a hospital stay last year. His wife, Laura Bravo, knew something was wrong when she went to visit her husband at the hospital and he was missing.
"I kept asking hospital staff, 'Where is my husband?' " she recalled. "I was panicking. For 36 years, we always knew where each other were, but suddenly he was gone."
In fact, he had been discharged without his consent or her knowledge and wound up lost in Los Angeles' Skid Row for days.
"In their rush to push Mr. Bravo out the door, the hospital staff missed all the stop signs that should have protected him," said Public Counsel director of consumer law Patrick Dunlevy.
"Mr. Bravo is not the typical victim of patient dumping, yet his case is an example of exactly what can go wrong when a hospital decides to dump a patient," said attorney Steven Archer of Kiesel, Boucher & Larson LLP, who is also a Public Counsel board member.
"White Memorial has set a new low for hospital dumping," Public Counsel President Hernán Vera told the Times. "They took someone who was not homeless and made him a homeless man."