I-Team: Man Talks About His 'Patient Dumping' Experience
By Nathan Baca, Investigative Reporter - bio | email
LAS VEGAS -- A mental patient who says he was dumped out of state with no help and nowhere to go is suing the state of Nevada.
James Flavy Coy Brown, 48, was a patient at Las Vegas' Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital. He says state doctors gave him three days of nutrient drinks, baggies of medicine and put him on a bus to Sacramento. Brown has no family or friends in California. His daughter picked him up after Brown ended up at a Sacramento homeless shelter.
Brown suffered severe mental disabilities after a 2006 car crash. He lived in South Carolina until he says doctors told him that because of mental health cuts there, he should "move west." He chose Nevada, but according to him, Nevada chose to dump him in California.
"It was really scary and they told me to call 911 as soon as I got to the bus station, Rawson Neal doctors said, 'just call 911.'"
He says Nevada state doctors gave him four cans of a nutrient drink, six packets of crackers, and baggies of medicine with no instructions, before shipping him out on a Greyhound bus.
"So the voices in my head started talking to me and one of them said, there's a police station about four blocks. I can see it."
Brown made it to a homeless shelter. Now, he's teaming up with the American Civil Liberties Union to sue the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital and it's doctors. The governor's office is not named in the lawsuit, but Brown has a personal message for Governor Sandoval.
"I'd like for the governor to get on a cab, have some drugs like me, and be forced to get in a cab and be forced to ride on a bus for 15 hours with the little bit of nourishment," Brown said. "I tried to get some water out of the bathroom in the back of the bus. The faucet was too little. I couldn't get myself under it."
The governor's office says it continues to get regular briefings on the hospital. In response to the patient dumping scandal, the hospital came up with a list of ways to fix the problem including increased staffing, better treatment of patients, and an exit plan for patients.
As long as Rawson-Neal passes a surprise inspection in the next 45 days, it will get to keep running for the next three years.
"We were dumped off like unwanted people. We're not supposed to be treated that way," Brown said. "We're human beings."
The ACLU and the Brown family say they have no idea how many other patients were sent out of state. Brown says there were other patients on his bus to Sacramento. It's unclear where those patients ended up.