Marion County files lawsuit against Oregon Health Authority, Oregon State Hospital

Marion County commissioners filed a nine-page complaint on Tuesday.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:36 AM PDT
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MARION COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - Marion County has filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon State Hospital, saying the state isn’t doing its job in protecting the public by properly caring for the patients who need help.

Marion County commissioners say the action isn’t something they take lightly, but filed a nine-page complaint on Tuesday.

Commissioners says the state hospital in Salem has failed to adequately provide staff and facilities to help patients, many of whom end up in the criminal justice system.

The complaint says the state has seen a sharp increase in the number of cases where people need some form of restorative behavioral treatment but state hospital stays are not available.

The county says the state has not provided enough facilities, staffing and secure placement options, leaving the patients without help and some end up charged with violent crimes.

Without help in the legal justice system as well, and without a secure facility to hold them, the complaint states they “disappear into the community, giving rise to severe concerns for public safety.”

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The county says this cannot continue and despite attempts to work with the Oregon Health Authority to address the issues, the complaint says they have been met with nothing but resistance.

The county is asking for a judgement that OHA and the state hospital do whatever is necessary to provide these services.

FOX 12 reached out to the Oregon Health Authority and a representative only said they cannot comment on pending litigation.