Addiction Chain Sued Following Client Death at Nevada Treatment Facility

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Panish Shea & Boyle LLP attorneys Rahul Ravipudi, Gregorio Silva and Ian Samson have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against American Addiction Centers, Inc., (AAC) on behalf of the mother of April Leeming, a 33-year-old woman who tragically died last year while seeking treatment at Desert Hope Addiction Treatment Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Filed in Clark County District Court, Plaintiff Jo-Ann Leeming alleges Defendants failed to provide a safe place for detoxification, resulting in April’s death as well as falsely advertised and promoted medical services which they were not licensed or qualified to provide, putting their own profits over the health and safety of their clients by employing individuals who were unlicensed, unqualified and untrained in meeting the needs of those in their care. Plaintiff is also represented in the case by Jeremiah Lowe, Jude Basile and Victoria Lazar of Gomez Trial Attorneys.

READ THE COMPLAINT

On September 19, 2018, Decedent April Leeming sought treatment for alcohol addiction at Desert Hope Addiction Treatment Center, a Las Vegas residential rehabilitation facility that advertised, promoted and represented itself as providing “medical monitoring 24/7 by a licensed medical team of physicians, nurses, and support staff knowledgeable on detox and withdrawal from different drugs.” Upon admittance, April disclosed her medical history, facility staff performed an alcohol screening that determined she had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .257, and she underwent a withdrawal assessment where staff “observed and recorded her symptoms including her inability to walk requiring a wheelchair, severe tremors, nausea with vomiting, auditory and visual disturbance, disorientation as to time and place, elevated vital signs, dilated pupils, significant pain, and delirium tremens.” Despite a history of seizures and clear evidence that she was experiencing symptoms of severe withdrawal requiring immediate hospitalization and 24-hour medical monitoring by a physician, Defendants chose to keep April at Desert Hope where they failed to provide her with needed medical treatment, failed to place her under 24-hour observation or appropriately monitor her while under their care – a direct violation of Nevada Law and Defendants own policies and procedures that resulted in April’s death within 17-hours of entering their facility.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants concealed the fact that they lacked the ability to provide necessary medical treatment to stabilize April and that their decision to keep her in the Desert Hope program was motivated by greed and their own financial self-interests, noting that “as long as the prospective client had/has the financial ability to pay and/or health insurance coverage, Defendants would/will admit the individual to Defendants’ drug rehab program, and keep them in the program regardless of their medical and/or mental health conditions.”  Plaintiff also alleges Defendants continue to deceive potential clients and their families into believing that their facilities provide a program that includes physicians onsite and 24/7 medical supervision in a hospital setting when, in fact, they provide no such service.

In February 2018, American Addiction Centers was found responsible by a jury for the death of Shaun Reyna that resulted in a $7 million verdict awarded to his family.