Inmates file $1.3M lawsuit against state hospital

Multnomah County

Federal judge grants restraining order against OSH

The Oregon State Hospital in Salem (KOIN, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A federal judge has granted a restraining order against the Oregon State Hospital (OSH) after two inmates filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force their transport to the hospital and $1.3 million damages.

On Nov. 9, 2021, Joshawn Douglas-Simpson and Jarod Bowman filed the complaint against OSH after both men’s court ordered transfers were ignored. 

OSH is tasked with treating the most severe mental health patients in the state.

Douglas-Simpson was booked for sex abuse, and Bowman was charged for attacking a woman and forcing her into the truck of his car. 

Joshawn Douglas-Simpson (Left) and Jarod Bowman (Right). Courtesy: MCSO

According to court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News, Multnomah County Judge Nan Waller found both men “Guilty Except for Insanity,” and requested they both be moved to OSH to receive care and treatment for their mental health disorders.

The complaint shows in May 2021, Judge Waller ordered Bowman be transported to OSH “without unreasonable delay,” and later ordered Douglas-Simpson to be “immediately transported,” to OSH in March 2021.

Despite the court’s orders, both men remained in the Multnomah County Jail.

An earlier KOIN 6 investigation in June of 2021 revealed Judge Waller found OSH and OHA in contempt of court. Documents show the court found the hospital had the beds to accommodate the men but chose not to comply.

OSH argued the lack of compliance was due to a shortage of space, and stated the facility was at 95% capacity.

Documents show Judge Waller ordered the Hospital to pay out $100 for each day the men remain jailed, beginning Sep. 10, 2021. The money was set to go to a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Trust to fund behavioral health staff training.

The Oregon State Hospital in Salem (KOIN, file)

When the men were still not transferred, Judge Waller held a second contempt hearing Oct. 13, 2021, in which the hospital was ordered to transport the men within five days or pay both Bowman and Douglas-Simpson $2,500 for each day they remained in jail after October 18, 2021.

As of the time of the complaint issued Nov. 9, 2021, neither patient had been transported.

Bowman remained in jail for nearly eight months, and Douglas-Simpson waited almost six months.

Chief United States District Judge Marco A. Hernández granted the men a temporary restraining order against OSH and OHA as of Nov. 15, 2021.

According to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office jail roster, both men were released from jail custody to OSH the following day, on Nov. 16, 2021.

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