Lawsuit Filed: Woman Dies From Overdose After Being Sexually Assaulted at Rehabilitation Facility

Los Angeles, Calif.— Jennifer Fiumara, a recovering opiate addict, was allegedly sexually assaulted while residing at Kool Living Recovery Center, a 24-hour residential, rehabilitation facility, and later overdosed and died as the result of negligence, assault and abuse sustained while at the facility.

Garcia, Artigliere, Medby & Faulkner filed a lawsuit against Kool Living Recovery Center for elder abuse, assault and battery, premises liability, negligent hiring and supervision, and wrongful death.

“What happened to Jennifer is unbelievably tragic,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Jennifer needed help and sought professional assistance to continue her recovery.  Kool Living Recovery Center did the opposite of what they were hired to do, and allegedly did nothing to keep her safe from harm. As a result of Kool Living Recovery Center’s alleged negligence, Jennifer did not feel safe at the facility, and the emotional trauma she endured was more than she could cope with, causing her to relapse and overdose days after her assault.”

Allegations and Background

According to the lawsuit, on August 5, 2015, Fiumara was heavily medicated, and sleeping on a couch in the living room at Kool Living Recovery Center when she was sexually assaulted by a fellow resident who was known to have violent propensities. The lawsuit states that she reported the sexual assault to the Los Angeles Police Department, and her abuser was subsequently arrested and charged with battery.

The lawsuit states that Kool Living Recovery Center failed to protect Fiumara, including: failure to provide adequate care; failure to enforce their own house rules; failure to follow their own procedures regarding the admission and retention of residents with violent propensities; failure to have sufficient staff on duty; failure to comply with applicable rules, laws and regulations governing their operation; and failure to sufficiently budget their program so as to operate in a lawful and safe manner.

Unfortunately, Fiumara had previously been the victim of sexual assault at age 17, and after the alleged sexual assault at the facility, it triggered devastating emotional trauma. The lawsuit states that Fiumara left the facility after the assault, checked into a hotel, and relapsed as the result of the devastation caused by the abuse. She died of an overdose on August 11, 2016, just five days after the assault took place.