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Family of Central Florida man who died fighting DNR order sues former guardian Rebecca Fierle and AdventHealth

Suit asking for damages of more than $30,000

Marion deputies release video of arrest of former Florida guardian Rebecca Fierle
Marion deputies release video of arrest of former Florida guardian Rebecca Fierle

ORLANDO, Fla. – In a lawsuit filed over the weekend, the daughter of Steven Stryker alleges this case is about how Rebecca Fierle, her company Geriatric Management LLC, and AdventHealth, who were both trusted by hundreds of vulnerable adults and the Florida court system, took advantage of her father and robbed him of his right to live.

The lawsuit states as a result of their negligence, abuse and neglect, Steven Stryker died at 75 years old.

The lawsuit is asking for damages of more than $30,000 and a jury trial and comes just days after Florida lawmakers passed a bill strengthening the oversight and monitoring of state guardians. It also comes just a week before Fierle is scheduled to appear at a hearing at a Hillsborough County courtroom to face felony charges of abuse and neglect.

[TIMELINE: Rebecca Fierle -- Guardian Under Fire]

“I’m really glad to hear that the bill has passed and I’m pretty confident that the Governor will sign it and everything should move forward,” said Kim Stryker during a Skype intervew with News 6 on Thursday, one day before the lawsuit was filed. “Obviously there were huge loopholes that allowed the guardian who abused my father, Rebecca Fierle, to do what she did for so long to him and to so many other people.”

“I’m still waiting for justice to be brought for her and for the hospital and systems that allowed her to operate with impunity, and have so much control over other peoples’ lives and welfare,” said Stryker.

The lawsuit accuses AdventHealth of negligence and states AdventHealth had appointed Rebecca Fierle to perform guardianship duties on his behalf prior to being appointed by the courts, and that they breached their duties by failing to inform Stryker of his rights as a patient and about the care he was receiving. It also alleges they failed to allow him to have an advocate of his choice during his care.

“I’m really hoping that the government of Florida will continue to do the work they need to do to make sure that these things can’t happen to anybody else,” said Stryker.