Estate of man killed at psychiatric hospital sues alleged killer

The estate of a 40-year-old patient killed at a state psychiatric hospital sued the man accused of the killing and has started the process to sue the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The suit, filed Oct. 25 in Baltimore, alleges that Andre Mayo, 47, assaulted and killed Rogelio Mondragon in his cell at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital on Oct. 27 last year. It demands $15 million in compensation and $5 million in damages on each of two counts. The estate also filed a notice of claim for $15 million against the health department, which is the first step in filing a suit against a state agency.

The complaint against Mayo alleges that the hospital had poor security and safety, resulting in attacks on staff and patients. Mondragon was the third Perkins patient killed between September 2010 and October 2011. The hospital treats people deemed unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible due to mental illness.

Karen Black, a spokeswoman for the health department, which operates the hospital, said the department does not comment on pending litigation.

Mayo was charged with first and second degree murder in connection with Mondragon's death, but found not competent to stand trial earlier this year. Mary Pizzo, a former Howard County public defender who represented Mayo in the criminal case, did not respond to requests for comment.

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