McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Breaking News

August 27, 2012

Yet another Narconon lawsuit under way

McALESTER — The parents of Hillary Holten, a woman who died on April 11, 2012, at Narconon Arrowhead in Canadian, have filed a lawsuit in Pittsburg County District Court against the Oklahoma-based drug-rehabilitation facility.

The lawsuit alleges that Narconon’s negligence resulted in Holten’s death.

Holten is one of three Narconon patients who have died while in the facility’s care in the past 12 months.

Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20, of Owasso, died at Narconon on July 19, and Gabriel Graves, 32, died at the facility in October.

And back in 2009, Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28, died while admitted as a Narconon patient.

These string of deaths at Narconon, and the organization’s methods of treating drug and alcohol addiction, have gained national attention.

The deaths have also gained the attention of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns told the News-Capital on Monday that his office has completed its recent investigation.

“Our investigation is complete,” Kerns said. “And the final report was turned over to the DA on Friday and the DA’s office will determine if any charges are to be filed — criminally or in terms of negligence.”

Also on Monday, the News-Capital spoke with District 18 First Assistant District Attorney Richard Hull. “I am waiting for the medical examiner’s report and the toxicology lab report before I make any determination on whether or not charges are to be filed,” Hull said.

The civil lawsuit was filed Aug. 23 on behalf of Hillary Holten by the attorney for her parents, Matthew and Suzan Holten. The lawsuit alleges that Narconon did not provide adequate medical care for Hillary Holten while she was a patient at the facility and that she died as a result of Narconon’s negligence.

On March 31, Hillary Holten “was admitted to the Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton, Texas, for numerous health related issues,” the lawsuit states. During her stay at Baylor, Hillary Holten tested positive for drugs, according to the lawsuit.

Matthew and Suzan Holten “began searching for a rehabilitation center in the hopes that she could obtain treatment for drug issues,” the lawsuit states.

In their search for a drug rehabilitation center, Hillary Holten’s parents came in contact with Narconon Arrowhead. The Holtens informed representatives from Narconon that their daughter “had a history of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, a condition which required the daily administration of Dexamethasone and in extreme circumstances, an injection of liquid cortisone,” the lawsuit states.

Representatives from Narconon allegedly informed the Holtens that the facility had “adequate staff, including RN’s and a Medical Director, who could properly manage Hillary’s serious medical condition,” the lawsuit continues.

On April 9, Hillary Holten was transported from the Baylor Medical Center to Narconon Arrowhead in Canadian. “After her arrival, Plaintiffs (the Holtens) received an email from Defendants (Narconon) promising they would ‘take good care’ of Hillary, and that she was ‘very blessed’ to have” them as parents, the lawsuit alleges.

On April 11, just two days after being admitted into Narconon for drug treatment, Hillary Holten died, the lawsuit states.

On Monday, the News-Capital contacted Gary Smith, CEO of Narconon Arrowhead, for comment regarding the lawsuit. “I can’t comment on that,” Smith said. “There are federal rights to privacy laws which prohibit us from discussing anything about former clients.”

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smart phone.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Breaking News
  • 5 Things to Know Taxe_Brac.jpg Tax Deadline!

    The deadline for filing taxes is midnight Today, Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge Bill Layden Protest filed against judge candidate

    A protest has been filed in Oklahoma City against the candidacy of a local attorney for a judge's seat.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg Local woman scammed this morning for $750

    Debra Williams, 53, of McAlester, said she was scammed Monday morning for the sum of $750.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • BLACKMAN,-RICHARD-ROCKY.jpg Suspects CAPTURED in robbery attack

    Police say they have captured a McAlester couple wanted in connection with the beating and robbery of some $10,000 in casino winnings of a 69- year-old McAlester man.

    April 1, 2014 2 Photos 3 Stories

  • FOURKILLER,-TONI.jpg Vehicle found in McAlester casino beating/robbery case

    Police say they have found a vehicle connected to the beating and robbery of some $10,000 in casino winnings of a 69- year-old McAlester man.
     

    March 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • WRECK.jpg Accident closes intersection

    Athree vehicle accident closed the of intersection Carl Albert Parkway and Sixth Street about 2 p.m. on Friday, police say.

    The accident closed the intersection for less than an hour.

    The jaws of life were used to remove one person who was hospitalized later reported in stable condition, according the McAlester police. Two others were treated at the scene and released.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg Smoke in McAlester

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kiowa State 3 Cowboys fall at State

    Ty Lazenby scored 37 points, leading the Glencoe Panthers to a 57-39 win against the Kiowa Cowboys in Saturday's Class A state championship at State Fair Park's Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City.

    March 8, 2014 3 Photos

  • Glencoe wins state championship over Kiowa

    Kiowa fell to Glencoe in its state championship Saturday, 57-39.

    March 8, 2014

  • Lions end Buffs’ postseason

    Skye Lowe and Zac Cater combined for 30 points, leading the Durant Lions past the McAlester Buffaloes in Friday’s area consolation semifinal in Catoosa, 72-63.
     

    March 8, 2014

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.