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Glendale Hospital Dumping Patients On Skid Row, Lawsuit Filed By City Alleges

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Skid row (Photo by Shabdro Photo via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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A Glendale hospital has been improperly releasing homeless patients who are mentally ill and disabled on Skid Row for at least four years, a lawsuit filed by the City of Los Angeles on Wednesday accuses.

The complaint says Glendale Adventist Medical Center is dropping off patients who are unfit for release into a neighborhood that is "known for extreme poverty, homelessness, rampant sale and use of illegal drugs and violent crime" in a practice known as patient dumping. The city has cracked down on the issue over going back as far as 2005 with various healthcare providers including Kaiser Permanente, Pacifica Hospital of the Valley, Beverly Community Hospital, and White Memorial Medical Center each having been busted. Glendale Adventist officials "strongly disagree" with the accusations from the city, according to the LA Times.

"Homeless people suffering from mental illness who wander these dangerous streets are particularly vulnerable to victimization and exploitation by criminal predators," read the suit.

For one Skid Row shelter, the allegations came as a surprise. "I have always known Glendale Adventist to not ever be dumping patients. I do believe they will take action and set up a proper protocol," said Reverend Andy Bales, who runs the Union Rescue Mission. His shelter has "dump cams" that record improperly discharged patients showing up in the neighborhood still wearing hospital gowns.

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According to a spokesperson with the city attorney, Glendale Adventist was already working on a settlement with the city.

The filing does not detail specific incidents, but alleges that Glendale Adventist has dumped patients as recently as June 6 of this year and as far back as four years ago.