Arizona State Hospital Sued For Withholding Records On Patient's Death

By Will Stone
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 11:54am
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 12:12pm

Advocates are suing the state for withholding records related to the death of a patient at the Arizona State Hospital.

The Arizona Center for Disability Law alleges hospital administrators have repeatedly refused to provide records and unaccompanied access to facilities and patients at the state hospital.

The suit was filed in federal court on Wednesday.

The case centers on the death of a patient at the civil campus in 2015. According to the complaint, the woman was able to climb onto a platform and jump. She broke her neck and died from the injuries.

“It’s been years of us requesting the records and explaining why we believe we should have access to those records and those efforts have been unsuccessful,” said ACDL Attorney Asim Dietrich.

Dietrich said his organization is the state’s designated protection and advocacy agency for those with disabilities — authorized to investigate possible incidents of abuse and neglect.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Health Services says it does not comment on pending litigation, but that the top priority is to provide the safest and most therapeutic environment possible for patients.

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