Charges filed against Los Angeles hospital

November 16, 2006

Los Angeles prosecutors have filed charges against hospital owner Kaiser Permanente for allegedly abandoning a homeless patient on skid row.

The charges, false imprisonment and dependent care endangerment, stem from the case of a 63-year-old patient from Bellflower hospital, which is owned by Kaiser Permanente, being videotaped leaving a taxi in a hospital gown and socks and wandering the skid row neighborhood, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

"We seek to end the inhumane and illegal practice," said City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. "We believe this is the right action to take and it speaks to this region's values. We are in the right place at the right time to hold Kaiser accountable."

Ten Los Angeles hospitals have been under investigation for allegedly dumping homeless patients in the neighborhood, which is known for its missions and homeless encampments. Delgadillo said the charges brought against Kaiser are the first step in holding the hospitals accountable.

Diana Bonta, vice president of public affairs for Kaiser Southern California, said she was "very surprised" by the charges.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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