Drug rehab enrollee's estate claims methadone intoxication in wrongful death complaint

Steve Gonzalez Feb. 13, 2008, 3:34am

The estate of Linwood R. Elliott filed suit against the Community Counseling Center of Northern Madison County (CCCNMC) alleging he was given too much medication causing his death.

According to the suit filed Feb. 8 in Madison County Circuit Court, Elliott was enrolled in the drug rehabilitation and counseling program offered by CCCNMC and on Feb. 9, 2006, in accordance with his treatment, was given methadone which was to be ingested in front of employees.

Methadone is a synthetic opioid used medically as an analgesic and anti-addictive.

"The amount of methadone in the blood of decedent reached at least .88 micrgrams/ml on Feb. 9, 2006," the complaint states.

The complaint states Elliott returned to his home and laid on his bed where he became comatose and died 40 minutes later.

Elliott's estate claims CCCNMC was negligent by providing methadone in either too high a dosage, too frequent dosages, or dosages too closely together.

The estate also claims CCCNMC provided methadone in dosages which failed to account for the weight, metabolism and/or other physical/medical limitations, failed to properly monitor the levels of methadone in Elliott's blood or urine and failed to recognize the onset of methadone intoxication.

His estate further claims the clinic failed to promptly treat methadone intoxication, failed to warn him of the signs or symptoms of impending methadone intoxication, failed to provide him with a means to which he could counteract methadone intoxication and failed to provide him with a "mentor" or some other "buddy" who could provide him with assistance.

Elliott's estate claims as a result of his untimely death, his family has been deprived of his companionship, society, support, love, care and counsel plus a pecuniary loss and experienced grief, sorrow and mental suffering.

Represented by Jeffrey Ezra of Collinsville and Ron Steinberg of Farmington Hills, Mich., Elliott's estate is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

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