Parents Sue Echo Park Rehab Center Over Son's Drug Overdose

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The parents of a 27-year-old man who died of an overdose at a drug and alcohol recovery center last year are suing the Echo Park facility, alleging their son obtained the drugs from a roommate who also died there the previous day in the same fashion.

Jon Kent Zediker and Kathleen Ennis brought the wrongful death suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Dream Center Foundation, which operates a 24-hour residential facility on Bellevue Avenue with ties to the Angelus Temple, a Pentecostal house of worship affiliated with the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Echo Park.

The parents of the late Jonathan Scott Hand are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

A Dream House representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Hand had a history of addiction and became a resident of the Dream Center facility in January 2020. He acknowledged his dependency on alcohol and drugs and sought to overcome his condition, according to his parents' court papers.

Prior to Hand's admission, the Dream Center staff assured Hand and his parents that the residential program was appropriate for him and that the employees had the skills to treat his problem because they had helped thousands of other people in his shoes, according to the lawsuit.

On Feb. 8, 2020, the Dream Center staff became aware that Hand's roommate "brought illicit drugs onto the premises," the suit alleges. That same day, the roommate died of a drug overdose at the facility, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs maintain the Dream Center staff should have known that drug use by other residents would increase the risk that other individuals, including Hand, would also be encouraged to use narcotics. However, the center did not have adequate policies and procedures to search for illicit drugs on its premises, the suit alleges.

On Feb. 9, 2020, less than 24 hours after his roommate's overdose, Hand was found dead in his room, according to the suit.

The Dream Center holds itself out as offering a safe, drug-free environment for obtaining treatment for addiction yet did not follow its own policies and procedures, let alone state regulations, that govern addiction rehabilitation facilities and are designed to protect people like Hand, the suit alleges.

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