JONESBORO, Ga. — The family of a mentally disabled man is suing a Georgia behavioral health system, saying its employees forced him onto a bus to Atlanta where he wandered the streets and suffered from hypothermia.
The lawsuit was filed this week against Riverwoods Behavioral Health in Clayton County and the company that operates it.
Mario Scott went to a hospital in Jackson, Georgia, in January to have his medication refilled, and a doctor filled out paperwork that had him sent to Riverwoods, according to the lawsuit.
Staff members asked sheriff’s deputies to try and locate Scott’s mother, who cared for him, but she wasn’t home because she was hospitalized for COVID-19 at the time, the lawsuit states.
Workers at the center then forced him onto a bus bound for Atlanta, which dropped him off at a homeless shelter in the city. But Scott never checked into the shelter, and was instead “wandering the streets and was suffering from hypothermia,” the family’s lawyers, Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys, said in a statement.
“We were heartbroken because we couldn’t find him for days,” Scott’s sister-in-law, Tawanda Scott, told WXIA-TV.
A missing person report was filed, and Scott was eventually reunited with his mother after someone recognized him from news reports that he was missing.
Riverwoods did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on Wednesday.
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