American Addiction Centers (AAC) has filed motions to dismiss charges brought forth in an ongoing California murder case. A grand jury indictment released in July 2015 alleges that the actions of five employees and former employees of AAC led to the death of a patient in an AAC treatment center.
AAC continues to assert that the case is without merit.
According to a statement, AAC highlighted reasons that it believes a dismissal of all charges is warranted, including:
- Failing to call the coroner and instead calling a paid consultant to the plaintiff in the civil case and misrepresenting to the grand jury the coroner’s findings and the contents of his records to make it appear that the patient’s death was a homicide
- Repeated violations of the prosecutor’s duty to present exculpatory evidence
- Repeatedly presenting inadmissible evidence to the grand jury including hearsay and opinion testimony
- Presenting no evidence of probable cause that any of the defendants had the requisite malice required for a second degree murder case
- Incorrectly advising the grand jury that it could interpret licensing statutes to find the client was a dependent adult
- Failing to instruct on essential elements of some offenses and affirmatively misinstructing on the law for other offenses
According to AAC, the coroner for Los Angeles County, Mark A. Fajardo, signed a declaration that was also filed with the court that contradicts claims made by the California attorney general’s office and testimony presented. Fajardo performed the autopsy on the individual who died at the AAC facility.
In a ruling on January 22, the court ordered the complete coroner’s file to be produced. The declaration notes that Fajardo was aware of the patient’s conditions at the time of the autopsy and believes the patient's lack of supplemental oxygen and the drugs administered to him “did not cause or contribute to [decedent]’s death.”