The family of a certified nursing assistant who was shot to death by a colleague last year sued Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on Tuesday for allegedly allowing systemic security failures.

Anrae James, 43, was working at the hospital in Center City when he was killed shortly after midnight on Oct. 4. Stacey Hayes, the alleged shooter who was off-duty at the time, has been charged with murder and related criminal offenses. Hayes is accused of wearing body armor and engaging in a shootout with police in West Philadelphia, wounding two officers, after fleeing the hospital.

The lawsuit, filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court on behalf of James’ widow, Barbara, and their three children, alleges that James’ death “was the predictable result of Defendants’ wholly inappropriate and ineffective security practices, and their failure to protect Mr. James from Stacey Hayes despite the fact that Defendants knew or should have known of Mr. Hayes’ mental instability, predisposition for violence, and animus toward Mr. James.”

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The killing, captured on surveillance video, later forced Jefferson officials to admit that it took too long to notify staff of an active shooter situation, and to promise improved security. Hayes is accused of getting off an elevator on the ninth floor, walking directly toward James — who was seated at a workstation — and opening fire with what appeared to be a handgun.

Police said Hayes then left the hospital and drove off in a U-Haul. An hour later, around 1:25 a.m., a passerby flagged down officers in Parkside saying a man in scrubs nearby had a gun and was possibly firing shots in the air. Four officers approached Hayes and told him to drop his gun, police said, but he instead opened fire on them. The officers shot back, police said, and struck Hayes before taking him into custody.

In March, a judge held Hayes for trial on all charges.

The defendants in the lawsuit include entities related to the hospital.

A spokesperson for Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health declined to comment Tuesday, citing the pending litigation.

Steven G. Wigrizer, an attorney representing Barbara James and her children, said in a statement that the defendants are “responsible for the litany of outrageous security failures that Jefferson officials admitted to only after this heinous killing. Justice now demands they be held accountable for their reckless inaction that put Mr. James and others — including staff, patients, visitors, and medical Jefferson’s own medical students — at risk.”

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The 20-page complaint alleges Hayes was carrying a bag with multiple weapons when he entered the hospital. There were no guards at the front security desk, the complaint says.

“As a result, Hayes, while heavily armed, walked freely into and throughout the Hospital,” the complaint alleges.

The complaint says that James had previously notified the hospital that “he was concerned that Hayes may try to harm him and that Hayes had a personal conflict with him.” James requested that he be moved to a different part of the hospital to be away from Hayes, but the hospital either ignored the request or failed to act in a timely manner, according to the complaint.

In March, another coworker testified that he was unaware of any animosity between James and Hayes. Police had previously said it was unclear what motivated the shooting.

In a brief telephone interview, Wigrizer declined to elaborate on any conflict between James and Hayes.

According to court records, Hayes successfully petitioned the court last June to return three guns to him — a handgun, a shotgun, and an AR-15 rifle. The records do not say why the guns had been seized in the first place. In his petition, Hayes said he’d purchased the guns legally and hadn’t committed a crime.

“I am not a threat to anyone, I just want to be able to protect myself and my family if needed,” he wrote.

The complaint also states that Jefferson had a history of security deficiencies as shown by a “crime log” the hospital maintained to report dozens of criminal and sometimes violent incidents, but the publicly available log was discontinued in 2018.

Barbara James said in a statement accompanying the filing of the lawsuit: “Anrae loved everyone, especially our three children, and loved his work, helping people every day. Like everyone else at the Hospital, Anrae relied on Jefferson to protect him while at work. He was supposed to feel safe there. We have so many questions and can only hope and pray they’re finally answered at trial.”

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.