Mom sues over son’s death at Boynton sober home

4:48 p.m Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 Local
Jordi Martinez-Garcia, 48, of Palm Beach Gardens, appears in court Thursday morning, July 13, 2017, charged with 62 counts of patient brokering. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

The mother of a 26-year-old New York man who died last year while seeking drug treatment in Palm Beach County has sued a West Palm Beach treatment center owned by two men who in September pleaded guilty to dozens of counts of patient brokering.

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, the mother of Francis “Frankie” Bolognese accuses the London Treatment Center of failing to provide promised treatment to help her son beat his addiction.

Stephanie Bolognese is also suing Improvement Recovery LLC, which owned a sober house on Southwest Sixth Street in Boynton Beach where her son died, according to the suit. Like the London Treatment Center, it failed to provide basic services to assure her son was safe, she claims in the lawsuit filed by Fort Lauderdale attorney Neal Hirschfeld. She is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

No phone number was available for Improvement Recovery. A call to London Treatment Center’s offices in Forum Place in West Palm Beach was not returned.

In September, the owners of the treatment center - Jordi Martinez-Garcia, 48, of Palm Beach Gardens and his business partner, Mark Johnston, 55, of West Palm Beach - each pleaded guilty to dozens of charges of patient brokering, admitting they had paid the owners of sober homes to send recovering addicts to their center. In exchange for their guilty pleas, each paid nearly $125,000 in fines and costs and agreed to “self-deport” themselves to their native countries, according to court records. It was not known where they were from.

At the time, court records show, prosecutors said Johnston and Martinez-Garcia had cooperated in ongoing investigations by Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s Sober Home Task Force. Each served eight days in jail.