San Francisco v. Nevada

Lawsuit over bused mental patients to progress

The city of San Francisco’s lawsuit against Nevada over that state’s past policy of busing mental patients out of state can move forward in spite of Nevada’s argument it has sovereign immunity. That comes in the wake of U.S. Supreme Court refusing to hear Nevada’s appeal of California’s Supreme Court, which ruled the case is valid.

Between 2008 and 2013, hundreds of patients were given bus tickets to out-of-state cities—including 24 to San Francisco—to free up room at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, a practice reported by the Sacramento Bee in April 2013. Nevada admitted its error in protocol and Rawson-Neal lost accreditation. San Francisco filed a lawsuit seeking about $500,000 from Nevada for medical care, housing and other costs incurred as a result.

Nevada is planning a second appeal, this time arguing that a state government should be immune from lawsuits in other states’ courts.