LOS ANGELES (CN) – CHA Hollywood Medical Center (Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital) had a paraplegic, homeless, mentally ill man dumped in the gutter on Skid Row, “wearing a soiled hospital gown,” without a wheelchair, still hooked up to a catheter, so that the man “had no choice but to physically drag himself along the gutter of the street with his belongings in a bag clenched in his teeth,” the ACLU claims in Superior Court.
On behalf of Gabino Olvera, the ACLU also sues CHA Health Systems, Empire Transportation, and its van driver, Finece Mathis, for elder abuse, negligence, breach of duty and intentional infliction of emotional distress. CHA does business as Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital.
The complaint states: “After treating him the previous day, and forcing him to spend the night in the Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital waiting room, the Hospital Defendants discharged Gabino Olvera … . Thereafter, the Hospital Defendants and Empire by and through the actions of its employee Van Driver transported him across town in an Empire van, forced him to get out and abandoned him in the gutter of the street without a wheelchair or other means of transportation or movement. Still wearing a soiled hospital gown, with an in-dwelling Foley catheter and catheter bag, and with still-untreated acute medical conditions, Mr. Olvera had no choice but to physically drag himself along the gutter of the street with his belongings in a bag clenched in his teeth. According to horrified witnesses at the scene, while Mr. Olvera was dragging himself along the gutter of the street the Van Driver stopped her check her makeup in a mirror, sprayed herself with perfume and then sped off, coming dangerously close to running over him with the Empire van.”
The Hospital Defendants also are accused of failing to diagnose or treat Olvera’s urinary tract infection – an easily diagnosed and easily treated medical problem.
The ACLU claims the defendants “violate(d) every standard of professional conduct,” by their practice of “homeless dumping.” It claims that these violations of the California Health & Safety Code are “by no means an isolated occurrence at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. This lawsuit seeks to end this practice, and to require appropriate court oversight to ensure that the owners, administrators, medical professionals and staff at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital comply with California law.”