Above: ACLU/SC's Mark Rosenbaum speaking about the lawsuit with City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo, at left.
In March a shocking video showed a woman in a hospital gown lost on a busy downtown L.A. street. Now the ACLU/SC is suing the hospital that dumped her on Skid Row wearing just two hospital gowns, a diaper and a pair of socks.
"In this city, we don't 'dump patients' as if they were disposable rubbish," said ACLU/SC legal director Mark Rosenbaum.
The lawsuit comes after months of negotiations with Kaiser Permanente to end the practice. The L.A. City Attorney has also filed criminal and civil charges against the hospital chain for its treatment of the 63-year-old homeless woman pictured in the video.
In the video shot from a security camera at the Union Rescue Mission, a taxi pulled up in front of the entrance and out of view. Moments later, a woman wobbled down the street. A few minutes later a representative from the mission met her and escorted her inside.
The woman, who was from Gardena not downtown L.A., had no money, no identification other than a hospital bracelet, and no medication or personal belongings when she was released from a Kaiser hospital in Bellflower. Three days later, she was readmitted to a local hospital.
The lawsuit states that Kaiser "has engaged in this conduct with full knowledge that the persons it transports to Skid Row will not continue to heal or recuperate in that setting."
Last year, several groups were in negotiations with Kaiser to prevent further dumping of patients, but the hospital made no commitment to end the practice.
Public Counsel and law firm Girardi and Keese join the ACLU/SC in the suit.