Lawsuit alleges abuse at state-run mental health facility

A lawsuit has been filed in U.S. Federal District Court alleging abuse at a state mental health treatment facility.

The suit alleges that the Minnesota Extended Treatment Options facility in Cambridge, Minnesota, routinely restrained patients using metal handcuffs and shackles without cause.

The suit also contends the facility secluded patients for extended periods and deprived them of family visits. The facility is run by the state Department of Human Services.

Shamus O'Meara, an attorney representing one of the plaintiffs, said he hopes the lawsuit sends a message to mental health providers.

"That people with developmental disabilities are human beings, they have civil rights and the right to be treated with dignity and respect," O'Meara said. "The families of these good citizens are fed up with the type of treatment that is the subject of the lawsuit."

Calls seeking comment from the state Department of Human Services were not returned.

The suit is asking a judge to certify the suit as a class action as well as seeking a jury trial.

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