LOS ANGELES -- Prosecutors filed criminal charges against a major hospital company, accusing it of dumping a homeless patient suffering from dementia on the city's crime-plagued Skid Row, the city attorney said yesterday.
"They have violated every ethical obligation under which they operate, and they have also broken the law," Rocky Delgadillo said at a news conference.
Police have long suspected that medical centers and law enforcement agencies from other areas were using the neighborhood as a dumping ground for the homeless.
In March, a 63-year-old patient from Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower hospital was recorded on surveillance video wandering Skid Row in a hospital gown.
The Bellflower hospital is among 10 in the Los Angeles area under investigation.
Delgadillo filed criminal charges of false imprisonment and dependent-adult endangerment, naming both Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Health Plan Inc.
Diana Bonta, vice president of public affairs for Kaiser Southern California, told the Los Angeles Times that Kaiser has taken steps to ensure no more of its patients are left on Skid Row.