LA city attorney reaches settlement with hospital over dumping patients on Skid Row

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L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo says College Hospital Costa Mesa may have dumped as many as 150 psychiatric patients on Skid Row in the last couple of years. His office has reached a settlement with the hospital. KPCC's Brian Watt reports.

Brian Watt: Delgadillo's office has been investigating alleged patient dumping for about four years. Two years ago, it reached a settlement over the practice with hospital chain Kaiser Permanente.

College Hospital's settlement is the biggest so far – a payout of more than one-and-a-half million dollars. Delgadillo added that an injunction now prohibits the hospital from dropping patients off anywhere in an established zone that includes Skid Row.

Rocky Delgadillo: The hospital will be required to secure knowing and voluntary consent before transferring a patient to a location other than their residence – as well as utilize all available public and private resources to ensure a continuation of care.

Watt: Delgadillo announced the settlement on the roof of Skid Row's Union Rescue Mission. That's where College Hospital Costa Mesa allegedly first dropped off 32-year-old Steven Davis. The patient was suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The mission is not equipped to treat psychiatric patients. Mission president Andy Bales thanked his staff, Delgadillo, and the LAPD for working on the investigation.

Andy Bales: It's another step towards the day when we won't have any precious human being living on the street and it's a tremendous step towards a day when we'll live up to being... the City of Angels.

Watt: College Hospital is not admitting wrongdoing, but its payout includes $400,000 in civil penalties and more than a million dollars in contributions to groups – including the Union Rescue Mission – that care for mentally ill and homeless people.