McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

December 23, 2013

Court orders Narconon Arrowhead client names and records for Jan. hearing

McALESTER — A list of clients and their records in connection with a Narconon Arrowhead lawsuit must be handed over to the court in January, court records state.

Associate District Court Judge Bland made the ruling on Dec. 2 during a hearing in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Heather Landmeier a Narconon graduate who has been in a vegetative state since she overdosed on heroin and oxycontin.

Narconon Arrowhead is a drug rehabilitation facility in Canadian that uses Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings.

It’s also where three clients, Hillary Holten,21, Gabriel Graves,33,  and Stacy Murphy, 20 were found dead within a nine-month span.

A fourth, Kaycie Weirnick died in 2009 at local hospital.

The most recent July 2012 death of Murphy spurred an multi-agency investigation, which is still ongoing according to District 18 District Attorney Farley Ward.

Meanwhile, according to the most recent ruling, Attorney Jeff Contreras must provide the court and Narconon a list of his clients.

“Records requested ...will be produced,” according to court documents.

Contreras said he is representing “respondents” in the case.

The respondents are former Narconon Arrowhead  students trainees or employees who were selected to produce documents related to alleged incidents of drug and alcohol use by its staff, trainees and students, according to Contreras.

The hearing is the most recent in series of lawsuits, filed against Narconon Arrowhead alleging wrongful death, credit card and insurance fraud and employees trading drugs for sex, according to court documents.

Also earlier this year the Senate passed Senate Bill 295, Stacy’s Law,” to regulate facilities such as Narconon Arrowhead.

And, Narconon Arrowhead’s top executive Gary Smith and several of his employees had their counseling certification revoked by the National Association of Forensic Counselors.

In August Narconon Arrowhead’s medical detox facility in McAlester lost its state certification after a temporary permit expired.

Meanwhile during this months hearing in the Landmeier case, Judge Bland ruled that Narconon attorneys will have to produce records of alleged incidents of employees, trainees and students using illegal drugs and alcohol from 2004 until 2010 for a hearing set for Jan. 7.

The rulings are part of pre-trial proceedings in the Landmeier lawsuit originally filed in March 2010.

The suit alleges drugs were given to her by Narconon staff while she was in the program.

After graduating from the program, Landmeier relapsed, was readmitted and then kicked out two different times for allegedly violating rules by using drugs and alcohol, according to allegations

The suit alleges those violations occurred after drugs were provided to her by Narconon staff.

The suit alleges that the day after she was removed for the last time, she overdosed in a Tulsa motel room, leaving her in a permanent vegetative state, paralyzed from the neck down.

The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 and alleges breach of duty of care.

Officials at Narconon Arrowhead have stated they can’t comment on the case, but said drugs and alcohol are “strictly prohibited” at the facility.

In an email received in Sept. Smith stated,“ We cannot comment on the Landmeier case or any individual student’s case because of Federal laws which prohibit disclosure of such information, as we have previously explained. We can tell you generally, without reference to any particular student, that to our knowledge

no member of our staff has given drugs or alcohol to any of our students, and that we have zero tolerance for anything like that because it is contrary to everything we stand for.  The same is true for our policy regarding drugs or alcohol on our premises. Both are strictly prohibited. We work constantly to protect our students every way we can, yet, as with any program such as ours, there will be some students who don’t always follow the rules. When that does occur, we deal with it within our treatment approach, and continue to work with the student unless that student’s conduct presents unacceptable risk to others. The safety and welfare of every student in the program is of paramount importance to us, as has been demonstrated by our long history of offering successful drug and alcohol abuse treatment services.”

The next hearing in the Landmeier case is set for Jan. 7 at 10:30 a.m.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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