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Sovereign Health, No Longer Operational, Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit for $11 Million – Orange County Register


Sep 10, 2023

Rose and Allen Nelson, residents of Santa Monica, are parents to Brandon Nelson. Brandon was an exceptional student at Santa Monica High School. However, his tragic death raises questions about the care he received from the mental health team at Sovereign Health. Instead of qualified professionals, the team consisted of individuals with backgrounds in different industries. They were ill-equipped to handle Brandon’s mental health needs and lacked knowledge of his medical history and suicidal tendencies. The negligence in providing him with the necessary anti-psychotic medications led to his death by suicide. The Nelsons filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sovereign Health, which has since been settled for $11 million.

The Nelsons reject the request for settlement confidentiality as they want the truth to come to light. They believe that Brandon would still be alive if he had not been placed under the care of Sovereign Health. The mental health system in California has seen dysfunction due to the closure of psychiatric hospitals and the focus on community-based treatment centers. Private-pay mental health providers prioritize profit over patient care, and the state regulatory systems are ill-equipped to oversee them. While California is investing in mental and behavioral health services, there are concerns about the lack of oversight and potential for further harm to patients.

The signing of “Brandon’s Law” in 2021, which prohibits misrepresentation by mental health operators, was seen as a step forward. However, enforcement of these laws is crucial for ensuring patient safety. Oversight of mental health facilities is lacking, and this has allowed individuals like Tonmoy Sharma, the founder and CEO of Sovereign Health, to continue operating despite a string of lawsuits and settlements. Sharma has been ordered to pay large sums of money for violating laws and has been accused of fraud and sexual assault. Numerous workers have filed wage claims against Sovereign Health, with many abandoning their claims out of desperation. The lives of these workers and patients have been severely affected by the negligence and mismanagement of Sovereign Health.

Malakiah McGuire, a former employee of Sovereign Health, shares her experience of unpaid wages and the toll it took on her and the patients she cared for. She expresses frustration with the lack of action from the state, hoping that one day justice will be served. The Nelsons and others affected by Sovereign Health’s actions believe that stronger enforcement of regulations and oversight is necessary to prevent further harm to vulnerable individuals.

The story of Brandon Nelson paints a devastating picture of the consequences of inadequate mental health care. His potential and promise were cut short due to negligence and incompetence. It serves as a reminder of the urgent need for reform within the mental health system to ensure that all individuals receive the care and support they deserve.

By Editor

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