The NY Times has an article about a galling situation: If mental patients at NY State psychiatric institutions win lawsuits against their facilities (e.g., hospital neglects them and they nearly die or assaults from fellow patients), the patients are expected to reimburse the state for their care. While inmates can keep winnings in lawsuits against prisons, "For patients in state-run mental hospitals — people too ill to live on their own and too poor to pay for their care — the state can drain court-awarded damages, effectively deducting the cost of their stays in the very hospitals that failed or abused them." One patient's lawyer said, "It’s a Catch-22, isn’t it? I need to go to this facility because I’m sick. But if they hurt me worse, they’re immune."
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