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Five people being held at one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in the United States are suing the facility’s leadership and the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) after hundreds of patients and staff have tested positive for COVID-19, with two patients dying as a result of the illness.

See it first on Legal Radar.Covington & Burling attorneys filed the class action complaint Wednesday against Janine Wallace, the executive director of Patton State Hospital in Patton, and DSH Director Stephanie Clendenin in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. At least 112 patients and 147 staff and personnel at the 1,527-bed forensic psychiatric hospital have contracted the virus, according to the lawsuit surfaced by Legal Radar.

The reported outbreak at Patton is not an isolated incident. In an April report, NBC News found that more than 1,450 COVID-19 cases have been documented at state mental health facilities in 23 states and Washington, D.C. As of Tuesday, San Bernadino County, where the hospital is located, has had 34,215 cases of the virus, the fourth highest of any California county, according to the state’s website.

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Alaina Lancaster

Alaina Lancaster, based in San Francisco, covers disruptive trends and technologies shaping the future of law. She authors the weekly legal futurist newsletter What's Next. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @a_lancaster3

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