A Marin Superior Court judge ruled on Wednesday that Sarah Nome could be legally evicted from the hospital bed she has been occupying since January 2004. Nome, who is 82, was admitted to the Kaiser Permanente facility in San Rafael, California, for an undisclosed ailment on January 22 of last year. She was discharged a week later but refused to go. She has been in the bed ever since, and at the standard rates for custodial care has run up a bill of $1.15 million.
It does not appear that Nome is still sick in any way, and a psychiatrist testified that he had examined her repeatedly and did not believe that she suffered from any psychiatric disorder that rendered her unable to get up and leave. A social worker testified that Nome had told her that she simply “liked it there and was quite satisfied to stay.” Eventually, Kaiser filed a lawsuit seeking to have Nome evicted from the bed.
Nome did not appear to contest the charges on Wednesday, and was not represented by counsel. In a statement to reporters, she claimed to have been kidnapped and brought to Kaiser “for billing purposes.” She said she has not been out of the bed for her entire stay, and that she planned to stay right there until Kaiser finds an equivalent place to which she can move. “It’s dreadful,” she said, “but I guess you have to think it’s God’s plan for this life.”