Family of deceased patient files lawsuit against Narconon
BY JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Saturday, October 06, 2012
10/06/12 at 7:11 AM
Read the lawsuit: View the lawsuit filed by Stacy Dawn Murphy’s parents against
McALESTER - The attorneys for the family of Stacy Dawn Murphy, who died July 19 while going through drug rehab at Narconon Arrowhead, filed a lawsuit against the facility Friday alleging wrongful death and negligence, according to a press release.
"You think it's something that's going to fill the void, but it will be an empty victory," said Robert Murphy, Stacy Dawn Murphy's father, about filing the lawsuit.
"I hope just through this that the truth will come out and those that should be responsible for taking care of these children will be held accountable. I really want to see changes made there."
Murphy and Stacy Murphy's mother, Tonya White, are listed as plaintiffs on the lawsuit.
Stacy Murphy was the most recent of three deaths at Narconon since last year that began a multi-agency investigation into the facility.
The lawsuit accuses the organization and Dr. Gerald D. Wootan, DO and medical director at the Narconon Arrowhead facility, of running a training program for Scientology, rather than drug rehabilitation.
The lawsuit also alleges Narconon violated its own rules in allowing Murphy a leave of absence from the program to return home for a day, and after her return, failing to monitor Murphy after she exhibited signs of drug use.
Murphy was allegedly taken to the onsite "Withdrawal Unit" the night of July 18 and was not correctly monitored until she was found dead the next morning at about 9:20 a.m., according to the lawsuit.
Narconon Arrowhead is the flagship branch of an international drug-rehabilitation organization rooted in Scientology and the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
A phone call seeking comment about the lawsuit was not returned Friday afternoon by Narconon Arrowhead officials.
The multi-agency investigation has been led by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health.
A spokesman for the Department of Mental Health said this week that the end of the investigation is waiting on state medical examiner reports on two of the three recent deaths.
Gabriel Graves, a 32-year-old Claremore man, died in October 2011 at the facility.
Graves' autopsy report lists his cause and manner of death as undetermined and unknown, records show.
ME reports are pending for Murphy, 20, of Owasso and Hillary Holten, 21, of Carrollton, Texas, who died April 11 at the facility.
Holten's family filed a lawsuit against Narconon in August, alleging negligence.
Attempts to contact the state Medical Examiner's Office spokesman by email this week for an update on the pending reports were not returned.
Deaths connected to Narconon in Oklahoma
July 19: Stacy Murphy, 20, from Owasso.
April 11: Hillary Holten, 21, from Carrolton, Texas.
Oct. 26, 2011: Gabriel Graves, 32, from Claremore.
March 2009: Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28.
January 2009: Jean Lafitte, 52.
April 2007: Fred Oesterreicher, 53.
February 2005: Sharon Charlene Nederlander, 44.
Original Print Headline: Family of deceased patient files suit against Narconon
Jarrel Wade 918-581-8367
Tonya White (left) and Robert Murphy (right), the parents of Stacy Dawn Murphy, hold a press conference with attorney Gary Richardson after filing a lawsuit against Narconon, where their daughter died July 19. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World