New York Daily News
Rehab site can be sued in stabbing
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.