Since July, industry observers have been following the American Addiction Centers (AAC) case in Riverside County, Calif., which has charged subsidiaries of AAC and five employees and former employees with murder. The charges are related to the June 2010 death of a 53-year-old patient who died after admission to an AAC facility.
On December 10 at the scheduled arraignment, the defendants pleaded not guilty, according to a statement from AAC. The court overruled the demurrers—the documents that present the objections to the case—that were filed on behalf of the defendants. This is not an unusual step in the process.
According to AAC, the organization will challenge the indictment in the coming months.
In a second-quarter earnings call on July 29, CEO Michael Cartwright said that “there is no at-fault here,” and that the patient died of natural causes, according to the local coroner. He has since maintained that the case is without merit.
A trial readiness conference is scheduled for January 5, 2016, and a new judge will be assigned at that time because the judge previously hearing the case is transitioning to another department.
AAC stock held steady, trading between $21.42 and $24.50 over the last seven days.