Today was the scheduled trial readiness conference for Superior Court Judge Elaine M. Kiefer in Riverside County, Calif., who was hearing the case on the grand jury murder indictment against American Addiction Centers (AAC) and several of its current and former employees. According to the LA Times, Kiefer said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to establish probable cause and threw out the murder case.
In a second-quarter earnings call on July 29, 2015, right after the case first became known, CEO Michael Cartwright said that “there is no at-fault here,” and that the patient died of natural causes, according to the local coroner. Cartwright maintained that the case regarding the death of a patient in one of AAC's treatment centers was without merit from the start.
Although the murder charges do not stand, the Times reports that AAC and four of five of its employees initially named in the case will still face dependent adult abuse charges.
Many believe the original murder charge was an indication that the attorney general was prepared to scrutinize the addiction treatment industry in California that much more closely following a detailed state Senate report released in 2012. The report concluded that the state was not adequately monitoring treatment centers and sober living homes.
AAC stock seemed to take a jump late today in light of the news.