Kaiser Faces Charges for Dumping Homeless Patient

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The woman, identified as Carol Reyes of Gardena, shuffles along the sidewalk toward the entrance to

Captured on Video: In filing charges against Kaiser Permanente, the Los Angeles city attorney's office cited this surveillance camera video. It shows Carol Anne Reyes, who is homeless, walking down Skid Row after being dropped off by a taxicab. Union Rescue Mission hide caption

toggle caption Union Rescue Mission

The Los Angeles city attorney's office has filed criminal charges against hospital giant Kaiser Permanente for endangering a former patient. The charges allege Kaiser dumped a homeless patient on the city's downtown Skid Row.

The charges stem from video captured by security cameras in March. The footage shows a 63-year-old patient from Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower hospital, dressed in a hospital gown and slippers, exiting a taxicab on Skid Row. She is later seen shuffling toward the Union Rescue Mission, the city's largest homeless shelter.

Prosecutors describe what happened to Carol Ann Reyes in a 20-page document supporting the false imprisonment and dependent-care abuse charges. Reyes lived mostly in a public park in Gardena before she was hospitalized. When she was discharged, prosecutors say, she wasn't told she was being taken to Skid Row.

For many months, L.A. city officials have suspected that medical centers and law-enforcement officials from elsewhere are dropping off their indigent patients in the city's tough Skid Row area. The criminal charges against Kaiser are the first to be filed in the city's efforts to crack down on the practice.

Skid Row has one of the nation's largest concentrations of homeless people, and is known for the shelters and services for them that are concentrated in the area. Ten other L.A. hospitals are under investigation for allegedly discharging homeless patients onto the streets, instead of into the custody of a relative or shelter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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