Four former patients of Ngawhatu Psychiatric Hospital in Nelson have lodged formal complaints of abuse at the institution, including allegations of experimentation on patients.
Almost 200 complaints have been made by people who allege they were abused in mental health hospitals around New Zealand during the 1960s and 1970s.
Wellington lawyer Roger Chapman said today a "steady number" of former patients of Ngawhatu Hospital were now coming forward, including a man whose wife was a patient in the 1950s and a former nurse aide at the hospital.
The hospital closed in 2000-2001, with its residents resettled into the Nelson community.
The former patients who have laid complaints claim they were victims of sexual and physical abuse by staff members and were given electric shock therapy as punishment.
The nurse aide had alleged experimentation in electric shock therapy was carried out on patients, sometimes several times a day, during her time working there.
"There is also talk of some patients being given an electrical leucotomy. We are still getting details about that but it doesn't sound great."
A leucotomy is a surgical operation on the front lobes of the brain to treat severe psychiatric illness.
Mr Chapman said the woman had a medical journal and further information about treatments at the hospital which were to be given to his office for further investigation.
Nearly 70 of the nationwide claims have been filed in the High Court, each seeking compensation of up to $500,000 and exemplary damages approaching $50,000.
Herald Feature: Health system