Gary Benefield was in rough shape when a driver from the substance abuse treatment company A Better Tomorrow met him at the San Diego airport in 2010.
It was the day before his 53rd birthday. The longtime smoker had recently been hospitalized for pneumonia and was tethered to an oxygen tank, which he had relied on for years. He was seeking treatment for a drinking problem and had signed himself up for a round of detox and rehab.
Sometime that night, he collapsed by his bed at a Murrieta residential facility and died. The house manager, who was supposed to check on him regularly, had fallen asleep. Benefield's body was found in the morning.
The family sued, reaching an...