While watching a program I was reminded of a tragic wrongful death earlier this year.
The parents of a 20-year old woman who died of drug overdose while inside an Arrowhead, Oklahoma rehabilitation facility, decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit for the facility’s alleged negligence. Media outlets found that it is not the first time a rehabilitation patient died in the facility, as the woman’s death was the third death this year.
The victim, who willingly went to the rehabilitation facility to combat her heroin addiction, died while undergoing treatment. The mother believed her daughter was in good hands in the facility. When she received the news of her daughter’s death, she cried and screamed.
The facility has been known for using the teachings of the Church of Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, for treating people addicted to drugs. The victim’s mother said her daughter had been in the rehabilitation facility for over 7 weeks when she was told her daughter was homesick and that she wanted to leave the facility. The facility gave the young woman permission to leave for 24 hours, claiming there was nothing they could do to keep her from leaving.
During the day of her trip back home, the rehab patient was able to obtain drugs and smuggled them into the facility when she returned. After several hours of reentering the facility, she died of drug overdose.
The family’s legal representative said that the need to take care of the patient should have been heightened after she left the facility for 24 hours, which the facility did not do. The woman’s parents claimed they were under the assumption that there was a doctor available at the facility at all times. In fact, the staff guaranteed them that there was always a doctor on the site. They added that employees of the facility were also aware that their daughter was at risk for an overdose.
For the victim’s parents, it seemed that nobody had the common sense to call 911 or have a doctor respond immediately, considering there was a critical overdose situation at the facility.
The CEO of the rehabilitation facility would not address the wrongful death lawsuit’s allegations, saying the suit will not be handled in public, but only in the court. He did tell reporters, however, that the facility employed a nurse and a staff that looks into the patients in the withdrawal unit.
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