The U.S. Department of Justice visited Laguna Honda Hospital earlier this month to check in on its patients, and it seems as though things are improving.
In 1998, the DOJ slammed the hospital in a report that said patients would wander away from hospital grounds for hours, bring drugs or alcohol into the facility and obtain dangerous objects. One patient died after choking on a peanut butter sandwich.
Ten years later, The City reached a settlement with the federal government. The settlement requires the Department of Public Health to “provide a safe and humane environment for all residents and… protect residents from neglect and abuse.”
Apparently, federal investigators were so pleased with the progress made on efforts to reintegrate patients into the community that they will forgo their next scheduled site visit.
Reintegration has been a long-standing issue with Laguna Honda patients — who range from the mentally disabled to the elderly — and it was subject of another lawsuit in 2007.