McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

November 27, 2012

Narconon Arrowhead faces fourth lawsuit this year

(Continued)

McALESTER —

Also in October, the Shirley Gillaim mother of Gabriel Graves filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that her son “repeatedly evidenced symptoms of feeling ill, headaches and vomiting,” but was never referred to a physician.
The suit states that Gabriel Graves was found dead the day after he complained of a terrible headache following sauna treatments. In 2009 Keith and Connie Werninck, the parents of Kaysie Werninck, filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit alleging their daughter “died of double pneumonia due to gross negligence on the part of Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma staff, who failed to get her the medical attention she needed and asked for but was prevented from receiving by Narconon” She died at Community Hospital Lakeview, in Eufaula, The case was settled in 2011.
Meanwhile in the lawsuit filed Monday alleges that during the 18 days that Scott was a patient of Narconon Arrowhead, he was not provided his prescribed medication causing him to be “rushed to the hospital on three separate occasions, twice by ambulance.”
Scott is seeking more than $75,000 in damages according the lawsuit which alleges negligence, violation of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act, vicarious liability and civil conspiracy.
Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Narconon of Oklahoma doing business as Narconon Arrowhead, an Oklahoma corporation; Narconon International, a foreign corporation based in California; Association for Better Living and Education International, a foreign corporation based in California; and Gerald D. Wootan, DO, M.Ed., medical director of Narconon of Oklahoma.
Shanna Marlow, Scott’s mother said she was disappointed with the care he received.
“I was told he would be able to take his medication,” Marlow said. 
She said that Narconon denied that he was hospitalized medical condition.
“They told me he was hospitalized because of opiate withdrawal.”
Narconon Arrowhead CEO Gary Smith answered questions by the News-Capital in response to the lawsuit. When asked if it is common for patients going through withdraw from opiates have to be admitted to the emergency room and if Narconon allows its students to take prescribed medication while they are undergoing detox or  anytime while they are under the care of the facility, Smith said in the email statement;

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