WA pays $2M to workers assaulted at psychiatric hospital

Western State Hospital Washington state

A judge has ordered the state agency that operates Washington’s largest psychiatric hospital to pay more than $2 million to four female health workers who were assaulted by a violent patient who repeatedly targeted women.

One of the nurses who filed the lawsuit, Bernia Garner, lost part of her ear when the patient vaulted over the nurses station, knocked her to the ground, choked her and bite off part of her earlobe.

That same patient attacked three others, causing disabling injuries.

Their lawsuit claimed hospital supervisors and the Department of Social and Health Services knew the patient repeatedly attacked women but they failed to provide a safe environment.


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