Student's Suit Alleged 72-hour Involuntary Confinement, During Which Fellow Patient Committed Suicide Next to Her; Case Settled

A former Pepperdine University Student brought suit alleging that rather than receiving counseling services to address her homesickness and loneliness, her school psychologist improperly admitted her to 72-hour involuntary confinement at Del Amo Hospital. She claimed she did not give informed consent to be admitted and was misled about the true nature of the hospital. During her 72-hour confinement, she claimed she was held in the hospital’s holding cell with 10 other patients deemed to be dangers to themselves and others. She claimed she was verbally abused by staff and other patients, sexually harassed by another patient, and observed a patient immediately next to her commit suicide in the cell. She alleged her pleas to be released were not heard, even though she feared for her safety. She further alleged that the defendants were unsuccessful in their attempts to commit her to the hospital for another 30 days. The case settled in 2009.