Attorney Ervin Gonzalez (J. Albert Diaz)
A lawsuit has been filed against the operator of Aventura Hospital and Medical Center on behalf of a mentally ill patient who was strangled by a fellow patient.
Police charge Raul Alexander Rios, 32, was killed June 26 by patient Alexander Thadeus Jackson in the hospital’s psychiatric ward.
The Miami-Dade Circuit Court lawsuit filed by Rios’ mother, Giovannina Paloumbis, on Thursday named Miami Beach Health Group Ltd., the hospital’s owner, as the defendant.
The complaint alleged Jackson was a convicted felon who was known to be violent and dangerous. He was placed in the same room as Rios without supervision or security.
His body was found on the floor of the room. Jackson was found in the bathroom, taking a shower. He later admitted strangling Rios with his hands and a bedsheet.
The complaint said Rios was incapacitated due to his psychiatric disorder and was unable to protect himself.
Jackson has been charged with first-degree murder. He had 12 previous arrests, including assault, according to Florida and Nort Carolina records.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Ervin Gonzalez, a partner at Colson Hicks Eidson in Coral Gables.
“This is a case of inexcusable neglect, allowing a patient to die at the hands of a criminal,” he said. “A hospital is supposed to be a safe place where people go to heal.”
The complaint claims wrongful death negligence due to negligence. The hospital did not return a phone call for comment by deadline.