McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

September 18, 2013

Ruling in Narconon Arrowhead lawsuit postponed

McALESTER — A hearing set Wednesday to decide if Narconon Arrowhead will have to produce documents related to incidents of drug and alcohol use by its staff was instead postponed.

The hearing was continued by mutual agreement by both sides, according to Associate District Judge James Bland, who presided over the court action.

The date for the next hearing will available today, according to the Pittsburg County District Court Clerk’s office.

The hearing is regarding a lawsuit against Narconon filed on behalf of a Narconon graduate now in a vegetative state after overdosing on heroin and Oxycontin.

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

Narconon Arrowhead is a drug rehabilitation facility in Canadian.

Judge Bland is expected preside over the hearing as part of pre-trial proceedings in the lawsuit filed in March 2010 on behalf of Heather Landmeier.

The suit states that 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. 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 said they can't comment on the case, but said drugs and alcohol are strictly prohibited at the faciilty.  In  an email Wednesday, Narconon Arrowhead Executive Director Gary Smith said, “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 facility is where three clients were found dead within a nine-month span in 2012. A fourth died in 2009 at local hospital.

The most recent death, the July 2012 death of Stacy Murphy, 20, spurred an ongoing multi-agency investigation. Several lawsuits with allegations of wrongful death have also been filed as a result of the deaths, which also spurred a law from Senate Bill 295, also called “Stacy’s Law,” to regulate facilities such as Narconon Arrowhead.

Other recent suits against Narconon allege credit card and insurance fraud and employees trading drugs for sex.

In March, Narconon Arrowhead’s top executive 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.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Devin Mitchell McAlester man facing rape charges has hearing date set

    A preliminary hearing date has been set for a man who is facing charges of rape in the first degree (victim under age 14) and sodomy, victim under the age of 16.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • comish County to decide on liquor sales

    They’re ready to give the voters a shot.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • comish Election set to decide Sunday sales of liquor by the drink

    They’re ready to give the voters a shot.
    Pittsburg County commissioners have called a Nov. 4 Special Election date for voters to decide if they want to approve the sale of liquor by the drink on Sundays.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Randy Green Judge rules in Green case

    A Pittsburg County judge has ruled the city of McAlester acted improperly in amending former City Manager Randy Green’s retirement plan to eliminate an “additional benefit” of $1,764.49.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Road closed ROAD CLOSED

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • mhrc Okla. State student observing at MRHC

    An Oklahoma State University student is observing at McAlester Regional Health Center as part of the rural medicine track offered at the university.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHRIS-MORRIS-2.jpg Detective's Dispatch

    The McAlester Police Department responds to domestic violence calls on a daily basis. Many times when our officers arrive, we get very little cooperation.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • lungdoctor.png Hospital hires lung specialist

    McAlester has a new lung doctor, the first since 2008.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Emergency Services/Public Safety OEM sets large scale exercise

    The McAlester/Pittsburg County Office of Emergency Management will be conducting a large scale exercise Aug. 2 at The Village/Kinkead Hills that was designed to be as realistic as possible.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • MHS band prepares for upcoming year

    Friday saw the first units of the McAlester High School marching band gather, in preparation for the activities of the coming school year.

    July 28, 2014

Seasonal Content
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!
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.