The family of Deanna Ballman is suing her alleged murderer, a former doctor, the hospital where he previously worked and Craigslist for $40 million. According to the lawsuit, Ali Salim is responsible for the death of Ballman and his former place of employment, Knox Community Hospital in Mount Vernon, Ohio, did not do enough to prevent Salim from leaving the hospital with syringes that were allegedly used to inject Ballman with a fatal dose of heroin.
The lawsuit also includes Craigslist because Salim had used it to place an ad for a housekeeper but reportedly had a history of troublesome encounters with women who answered his previous ads on the site. WCMH reported on the lawsuit, which was filed on Monday in the Delaware County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas. Ballman was found dead by police on Aug. 1, 2012, and was nine months pregnant at the time of her death, reports the Associated Press. Ballman had moved from Colorado to Ohio and was working multiple jobs to provide for her two children.
According to the lawsuit, Ballman responded to a Craigslist ad posted by Salim on July 31, 2012, and was driven to the Delaware County road where she was found dead, reports AP. The lawsuit alleges Salim injected Ballman with a fatal dose of heroin, killing her and her unborn child. Following the injection, Salim allegedly raped Ballman.
Salim’s lawyer, Sam Shamansky, claims Ballman had a drug habit and had turned to prostitution to pay for drugs, reports AP, although investigators state there was no evidence of previous drug use. Officers investigating the case did not provide details about the type of ad placed by Salim but did state the ad was not for employment.
The lawsuit also claims Knox Community Hospital was negligent, reports WCMH, as Salim used syringes obtained from the hospital in the alleged murder. Craigslist was named in the lawsuit because women who responded to other ads posted by Salim reportedly contacted the police about his behavior. The women told police they were sexually assaulted or were asked by Salim to allow him to use their abdomens as a canvas to paint the human digestive system on, reports AP. The lawsuit states Craigslist should have been aware of the danger posed by Salim.
Salim has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, rape, felonious assault, corrupting another with drugs, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, and abuse of a corpse, reports WCMH. His trial is to begin Oct. 29, 2013.