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Monday, February 26, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Major Screwup at Shelter, Woman Says

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CN) - A homeless woman says her medical records falsely document a history of hepatitis C, tuberculosis, abortions and opiate addiction, which prevent her from getting decent housing and medical care. She says Westchester County stigmatized her by creating the false records.

Denise Jones says the county's assessment center for single homeless people, known as the "Shack," created several false, "stigmatizing" conditions in her medical records. The center is run by the county in a building it leased to (nonparty) Volunteers of America, according to her complaint in Westchester County Court.

The records described her as Jones fully employable, but Jones says she is permanently disabled and clinically depressed. She became homeless after suffering a traumatic knee injury and losing custody of her grandchild, according to the complaint.

Jones says the assessment center never tested her for hepatitis C or tuberculosis, but her medical records show that she tested positive.

The records show that she had two abortions, which are "religiously abhorrent to her," she says. Jones says she actually had two miscarriages, and independent tests show she does not have the infectious diseases.

Jones also says she tested negative for benzodiazepines, cocaine, opiates, THC, PCP and alcohol, but her records show that she is addicted to opiates.

She says Social Services allegedly threatened to take away her housing if she did not participate in months of outpatient chemical dependence treatment. Jones says the inaccurate claims of drug abuse and tuberculosis make her ineligible for certain types of housing.

Jones wants Westchester County to correct her medical records, and wants damages for negligence and false imprisonment. She is represented by Roni Jacobson with Wilson Jacobson.

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