Lawsuit being filed in death of man found dead weeks after checking into transitional housing

January 10, 2019 07:01 PM

His family believes his body had been left decomposing for nearly 40 days by the people who were supposed to be caring for him. Now, NewsChannel 13 has obtained a copy of the lawsuit being filed against the Hudson Mohawk Recovery Center.

The plaintiffs are the parents of the late Raolik Walls. The defendants include the Hudson Mohawk Recovery Center, its former executive director, its current residential director and four more unnamed staffers serving as case managers and RAs to Walls before his decomposing body was found on January 11, 2018 at a transitional housing facility on 6th Avenue, by an exterminator -- according to Walls' mother.

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The lawsuit claims the defendants negligently handled Walls' body in their custody, care and control -- depriving his parents' rights to proper preservation and burial for their son. The suit says that caused severe and permanent mental anguish and distress.

The suit also blames the facility for the "negligent hiring" of the six employees. That the center should have known the defendants "propensity to cause the type of harm because of prior actions."

Further, the suit claims the defendants improperly dealt with and failed to release the remains of Walls' body in violation of public health law.

According to the autopsy, Walls is believed to have passed in early December from a cardiac arrhythmia.

WEB EXTRA: Yvonne Ketter-Walls shares a poem she wrote about her son, Raolik:

You can also read the full text below:

"I think about you every day and miss you more than words can say. It’s a constant struggle in my heart and head, that I still cannot believe you are really dead. I daily try to hold no resentment and hope to find a little contentment. As I touch your pic on the hallway wall. I hope your spirit can hear my call.  As I look and say good morning and night, that you’re proud of your family and our fight. Family and friends are out here strong and will continue the fight no matter how long. we hope that soon we will have that peace, that the fight will die down and the struggles cease.  We hope to have a glimmer of joy and we can say we did this for our boy. Although we’ll know way deep inside, there will remain feelings we cannot hide. They’ll come to surface as they usually do, the years and thoughts of missing you.

Because of the kindness and love you shared, and showed everyone that you really cared. Because your physical presence with us was so brief, it’s hard to believe we have so much grief. That goes to show the type of person we are, to reach into our souls, no matter how far. To touch even a small part of us in the center, and let a piece of your joy come on in and enter. As it spreads throughout and does not let go, just like your rhymes with melody and flow. So when missing you we all should see, Raolik is here and will always be. his laugh, smile and his big big heart in our mind and body he will always be a part.  And even when it’s time for us to wither and go his energy will disperse like a winter’s snow and although I believe what I’ve just said to be true, I still have that dang problem, where I’m still missing you, love you son."

MORE INFORMATION: Full lawsuit in connection with death of Raolik Walls


Jill Konopka

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