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San Francisco sues Nevada over patient moves

LAS VEGAS — The San Francisco city attorney filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the state of Nevada, claiming it has wrongfully and intentionally bused psychiatric patients to the city and declined to pay the costs connected with their care.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed the case in San Francisco Superior Court a day after a deadline he had set for Nevada to strike an agreement with the city.

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Named as defendants were the state and several Nevada agencies, the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, and state health chief Mike Willden.

‘‘What the defendants have been doing for years is horribly wrong on two levels,’’ Herrera said in a statement. ‘‘It cruelly victimizes a defenseless population, and punishes jurisdictions for providing health and human services that others won’t provide.’’

He said he plans to seek class-action status for the case to include other California jurisdictions where patients were sent.

The state is aware of the suit and plans to make its response in court, according to Jennifer Lopez, spokeswoman for Nevada Attorney
General Catherine Cortez Masto.

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