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North Las Vegas hospital sued over discharge of psychiatric patient

Updated February 20, 2019 - 4:58 pm

The mother and children of a woman who died in an unlicensed Las Vegas group home after she was discharged from North Vista Hospital are suing the facilities and others who coordinated her care.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in District Court, seeks more than $15,000 in damages for the heirs of 33-year-old Rayshauna Roy.

“Rayshauna’s death was entirely preventable,” Rob Murdock, an attorney representing her mother, said Thursday. She is also represented by Nia Killebrew and Marty Keach.

“Unfortunately, the people who do these kind of things never learn their lesson,” Murdock said.

As first reported by the Review-Journal, Roy died of a methadone overdose in February 2018 at an unlicensed group home at 1077 Westminster Ave. in Las Vegas, one day after she was discharged from psychiatric care at North Vista Hospital.

The hospital has since come under fire by state officials for discharging patients into unsafe conditions.

Roy called 911 on Feb. 3, 2018, and told first responders who arrived at her home that she was having suicidal thoughts, according to the complaint.

‘Severe worsening of symptoms’

She was initially taken to Henderson Hospital, but was transferred two days later to North Vista for psychiatric care. After conducting a psychiatric evaluation, Dr. Kevin Bernstein said Roy was “having severe worsening of symptoms consistent with bipolar disorder type 1 with psychotic features,” the complaint said.

Bernstein, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, also diagnosed Roy with chronic pain syndrome, opiate dependence and withdrawal and neuropathy, the complaint said.

According to Bernstein’s notes, Roy told staff she was “so depressed right now, I am thinking about just killing myself.”

Roy was placed on a Legal 2000 hold, a 72-hour mandatory detention imposed on patients who could be a harm to themselves or others. When she was discharged three days later, a woman named Eileen Lee, who runs Above and Beyond LLC, a “consulting” agency, placed Roy in the care of the group home.

Roy was found dead less than 24 hours later, lying on the floor, her prescription bottles beside her, the complaint said. Clark County coroner records show her death was ruled an accident.

Susan Olson, a spokeswoman for North Vista Hospital, declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

Lee, also named as a defendant in the complaint along with the agency, did not respond to phone calls seeking comment on Thursday.

Attempts to reach Melinda Chan, also named as a defendant in the complaint and listed on the Nevada Secretary of State’s website as a manager for Above and Beyond, were unsuccessful.

The company had its license permanently revoked by the state.

‘We need answers’

Glenda Devera, who owns the group home on Westminster and is named in the lawsuit, said she “didn’t know anything about” it and declined to comment.

When the Review-Journal first reported on Roy’s death, her mother, Netshield Roy, 55, wondered aloud why her daughter was released to the care of Lee, a stranger to her.

“Why didn’t they try to call her family?” Roy said at the time. “Why did they take Eileen’s word? We need answers.”

Attempts to reach Netshield Roy Thursday were unsuccessful.

Roy’s death followed the 2015 suicide of Robby Risher, who drove his car into a pole two hours after hospital staff sent him home, despite threats that he would drive his car into a wall. After Roy’s death, Ethel Christian Girard Mateos, 48, suffocated herself a day after her discharge from North Vista Hospital into an unregulated group home.

In addition to scrutiny over discharge policies, the hospital was investigated by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services in June. A report, published in August, said North Vista Hospital ignored abuse to patients after employees filed two complaints, though the hospital was not disciplined at the time.

A bill introduced in the state Senate would take aim at businesses and people, like Lee and her Above and Beyond, LLC, that refer to group homes, by amending existing Nevada law to require licensure for those refering to any group homes providing care to mentally ill or intellectually disabled patients.

Contact Jessie Bekker at jbekker@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Follow @jessiebekks on Twitter.

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