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Lawsuit Demands That L.A. Area Hospital End "Patient Dumping," Uphold Responsibility for Patient Care and Custody

In a case that highlights the continued need to ensure that hospitals discharge our community's most vulnerable members with dignity and humanity, a former patient is suing Glendale Adventist Medical Center (GAMC).  The complaint was filed on June 30, 2015 by Public Counsel and the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

The lawsuit alleges that on June 6, 2014, GAMC prematurely discharged Rafaeli Apollinaire without his consent. At the time of his discharge, Apollinaire was suicidal and homeless. Despite his repeated requests to be released to Glendale near his family, GAMC placed Apollinaire in a cab and sent him to Skid Row, without even telling him his destination.

"Every life matters. If we really are the society we think we are, we should be doing something to make sure our most vulnerable get the help they need," said Patrick Dunlevy, Directing Attorney of Public Counsel's Consumer Law Project.

"The law places responsibility on hospitals for the care of dependent patients like Mr. Apollinaire," said Michael D. Kibler, a litigation partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in Los Angeles. "We must ensure that the hospitals in our community uphold their legal obligations to treat every patient - especially the mentally ill homeless - with appropriate care."

For more details on the case, read the complaint here.