The brother of a South Carolina man who overdosed in a Super 8 last summer is suing the Lantana motel and drug rehab center where the 26-year-old was being treated.
Daniel Aldrich, representing his brother Tyler’s estate, claims neglect of the motel and comprehensive wellness centers led to his death.
In a statement provided to the Palm Beach Post, the center denied the allegations.
“Although the circumstances are tragic, Comprehensive Wellness vehemently denies the allegation against him and intends to vigorously defend itself in the court system,” said lawyer Scott Kirschbaum, who represents the center.
According to the complaint filed Wednesday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, Tyler Aldrich admitted to full wellness centers in June 2020. Three months earlier, he had completed a two-week program there, a said attorney Adam Langino, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Tyler’s brother.
The center was in constant contact with Aldrich’s father to let him know Tyler was making progress and to clear payment for the drugs, according to the lawsuit.
Five weeks later, on July 20, Tyler told center workers he was under the influence of drugs and was leaving campus to use more. Employees gave him Narcan, the brand name for an overdose reversal drug called naloxone, to take with him, according to the lawsuit.
The center did not notify Tyler’s father, who lived out of state, or police that he left against a doctor’s advice, according to the lawsuit.
Center alumni coordinator Michael Sheridan found Tyler with heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine at a gas station shortly after, according to the lawsuit. Sheridan is not listed as a defendant.
Sheridan took Tyler to the Super 8 on Hypoluxo Road, “a place well known for illegal drugs, prostitution, and other criminal activity,” the lawsuit said, and rented a room for Tyler under his name.
Sheridan checked Tyler periodically, bringing him a milkshake around 11:30 p.m. that night, according to a report from Lantana Police. The next day, Tyler was not answering his phone. Sheridan found him in the room, unconscious.
“What the hell were they thinking? Langino said. “It was a preventable tragedy.”
The lawsuit suggests that the center acted with the money in mind “from future profits from returning (Tyler) to (center) for further drug treatment.”
“It looks like these centers are popping up all over South Florida,” Langino said. “They’re happy to take insurance, but they also have to be held accountable when things go wrong, when they make mistakes.”
The motel was negligent, according to the lawsuit, in renting a room “in which it knew or should have known that the purpose of such rental was to facilitate criminal activity which would pose a risk to health, comfort and convenience. / or the safety of its customers ”and not to contact the police when they were aware or should have been aware of this activity.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts did not respond to a request for comment.