New York Daily News

Rehab site can be sued in stabbing

- Barbara Ross

A QUEENS drug rehab center is on the hook for negligence after one of its residents stabbed a man 30 minutes after he left the facility, an appellate court ruled.

The Queens Village Committee for Mental Health for Jamaica Community Adolescent Program is responsibl­e for the victim’s injuries, a panel of four judges from the Manhattan Appellate Division said.

Administra­tors said that when they released felon Sean Velentzas, 33, to cops in July 2010, they assumed the police would hold him overnight before transferri­ng him to a more secure facility. Instead, cops let him go. Velentzas, who was originally sent to the Queens rehab center after he robbed a cabbie at gunpoint, stabbed his mom’s boyfriend just 30 minutes after he was released.

The boyfriend, Anthony Oddo, 58, sued the facility. Administra­tors argued they didn’t have a “duty to care” for a third party like Oddo, but four judges disagreed.

Oddo’s lawyer, Blake Goldfarb, said the suit can now be heard in Bronx Supreme Court. The facility’s lawyer, Jeffrey Marshall, declined comment.

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