The family of a man who police say was strangled to death by a fellow patient in their shared room at Aventura Hospital has filed a lawsuit against the operator of the facility.
Raul Alexander Rios, 32, was found dead last month in the room he shared with 31-year-old Alexander Thadeus Jackson, police said. Jackson was arrested charged with first-degree murder in the death.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday against Miami Beach Healthcare Group, Ltd. on behalf of Giovannina Paloumbis, Rios' mother, alleges negligence for the welfare of Rios by the hospital.
A hospital spokesperson didn't immediately return calls for comment Friday. Paloumbis and her attorney are expected to hold a news conference Friday morning to discuss the case.
According to the lawsuit, Rios was suffering from a psychiatric disorder at the time of the incident that rendered him incapacitated and unable to protect himself when he was placed in the same room with Jackson in the hospital's psychiatric ward.
Jackson is a convicted felon and a known dangerous person with 12 previous arrests, the lawsuit said.
“This is a case of inexcusable neglect, allowing a patient to die at the hands of a criminal," said Paloumbis' attorney, Ervin Gonzalez. "A hospital is supposed to be a safe place where people go to heal. Patients should not be strangled to death at the hands of another patient while in a hospital."
Jackson remains behind bars without bond. It's unknown whether he has an attorney.