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Former mental health providers to pay $3 million to settle New York patients' lawsuit

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ALBANY, New York — A federal judge has approved a $3 million settlement between patients and a former mental health facility in Putnam County.

The class-action suit filed in 2007 alleged patients were illegally restrained, assaulted, punished and isolated by SLS Residential staff, while the facility falsely advertised compassionate care and effective treatment and received up to $900 a day from individual patients' insurers.

The Office of Mental health says the facility lost its license for restraining residents contrary to state directives and restricting their rights to see visitors and communicate.

Michael Sussman, attorney for the patients, says 177 people treated from 2004 to 2006 have received about $10,000 each.

Attorney Paul Callan, representing SLS, says his clients admit no wrongdoing in the financial settlement by their insurers and say they treated many satisfied patients.

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