BoE agrees to $1.6M in settlements
The Board of Examiners on Tuesday approved four settlement payments including the lawsuit that overturned the state’s ban on same sex marriage and the “patient dumping” suit by San Francisco
The board headed by Gov. Brian Sandoval agreed to pay Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund $615,037 to cover the cost of litigation.
Lambda, a national organization promoting and defending the rights of the LBGT community, sued the state in 2012 arguing the state’s ban was unconstitutional.
Chief Deputy Attorney General Wayne Howle said the state prevailed in federal district court but “by 2014, the landscape was very different.” He said the suit was no longer viable as federal appellate courts were repeatedly overturning similar bans in other states. He said the payment was “a good compromise” since Nevada was required to cover attorney expenses incurred by Lambda in the case.
The board also approved a $400,000 settlement with the city of San Francisco over the lawsuit charging Nevada was giving newly released mental patients a bus ticket there. Deputy Attorney General Linda Anderson said the net result of the lawsuit is both San Francisco, the state of California and Nevada now have procedures in place to inform each other when a patient is being sent across state lines.
Sandoval said that happened after Nevada discovered San Francisco “had its own busing program.”
“They even had a name for it: Homeward Bound,” he said. “I think this settlement should be a model for the country so we don’t have these naked allegations of Greyhound therapy.”
Health and Human Services Director Richard Whitley said Nevada now has similar agreements with Oregon as well.
Assistant Attorney General Nick Trutanich said the settlement is contingent on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and the court accepting the deal.
Another $400,000 will be paid to the family of Dr. Robert Robinson, who died in the southern Nevada Veteran’s Home. The lawsuit filed in the case charged deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition, medical malpractice and wrongful death of the 89-year-old.
“This was a horrific case,” said Sandoval. “This is not a case I think we should take to trial under any circumstances. It’s the right thing to do.”
Robinson, 89, was a longtime eye doctor in Las Vegas who served 10 years in the Assembly and one term in the Nevada Senate.
Finally, the board agreed to settle two medical malpractice suits filed by former prison inmate. Dan Winder for $195,000.