Hospital Imprisons Patients for Profit.

AuthorZalma, Barry

* In Diane Creel and Lynn Creel v. Dr. Says, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 4:18-CV-00615, United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division (September 27, 2022) the plaintiffs obtained a verdict against Defendants Dr. Yupo Jesse Chang; MD Reliance, Inc.; Universal Physicians, PA; Dr. Says, LLC; Office Winsome, LLC; and Yung Husan Yao (aka Angela Yao) for violations of the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act ("RICO") and RICO conspiracy. The Court, after the verdict, needs to enter its findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding equitable disgorgement.


Plaintiff Lynn Creel ("Lynn") accompanied his wife, Plaintiff Diane Creel ("Diane") (collectively, "the Creels"), to the Behavioral Hospital of Bellaire ("BHB") in August 2017. The Creels arrived at BHB planning to receive information on the hospital's advertised "outpatient group women-centric grief counseling."

Upon the nurse's return, the Creels said they were leaving because they did not like the treatment plans that BHB had offered. The nurse informed the Creels that they were not allowed to leave because BHB had "filed an emergency warrant for [Diane's] detention" and Diane would be placed under a 72-hour hold. The Creels then realized that the BHB medical staff had locked both the door out the front of the building and the door to the intake room. Diane was taken to the psychiatric unit against her will. BHB did not permit Lynn to visit Diane in person. In all this time, neither Lynn nor Diane ever saw the warrant for her detainment or even a shred of paperwork.

The Defendants' Scheme

The scheme underlying the Creels' experience began with the business activity of Dr. Yupo Jesse Chang ("Chang"), a family physician who has spent much of his career managing other medical practices. As Chang's only notary, Yao kept a detailed notary book. The physician recommending commitment of a patient signed off on the notarized documents-but the physician was never physically in front of Yao, the notary, when he or she signed the document.

The notary documents reveal that in just three days between, August 6, and August 10, 2017, a psychiatrist employed by BHB signed applications for the involuntary commitment of twelve different patients.


Twelve plaintiffs sued twenty-two defendants, alleging various causes of action based upon their involuntary confinement and stay at BHB. The jury found that Defendants, (1) were employed or associated...

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