US judge rejects Vegas 'patient dumping' lawsuit

By By KEN RITTER

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit alleging that a Nevada psychiatric hospital violated a patient's civil rights by giving him a bus ticket to California.

But an American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada lawyer representing the patient says the ruling Thursday is a setback — not a fatal blow.

ACLU attorney Allen Lichtenstein says U.S. District Judge James Mahan left the door open to refile the case in state or federal court.

The complaint filed in June sought class-action status for James Flavey Coy Brown and as many as 1,500 other patients his lawyers claim were bused from Nevada to other states since 2008.

It claimed negligence, sought damages for Brown, and asked the judge to issue an order to stop Nevada from sending psychiatric patients out-of-state.

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