Third lawsuit filed in Narconon Arrowhead deaths in Oklahoma

The mother of a 32-year-old Tulsa County man who died while undergoing drug rehabilitation treatment at Narconon Arrowhead in Pittsburg County has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the corporation.
by Randy Ellis Modified: October 24, 2012 at 11:17 pm •  Published: October 25, 2012

Narconon Arrowhead officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Gilliam is asking for at least $75,000 in damages on each of three causes of action — wrongful death, negligence and violation of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act — plus unspecified punitive damages “sufficient to punish the defendants and deter such reckless conduct in the future.”

Graves is one of three individuals who have died within the past year while undergoing drug rehabilitation treatments at Narconon Arrowhead.

The others who died are Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20, of Owasso, who died July 19 and Hillary Holten, 21, of Carrollton, Texas, who died April 11.

Tulsa attorneys Gary L. Richardson and his son, Chuck Richardson, of the Tulsa law firm Richardson Richardson Boudreaux Keesling PLLC are representing the families of Graves and Murphy in wrongful death lawsuits against Narconon Arrowhead.

“Circumstances of the deaths of Gabriel Graves and Stacy Murphy have numerous similarities,” Gary Richardson said.

Richardson said both sought treatment for drug addiction and were provided with misleading information on the Narconon website and by Narconon representatives that concealed the treatment program's relationship with the teachings of Hubbard, the Church of Scientology founder.

Holten's parents filed a negligence lawsuit against Narconon of Oklahoma in August. They are represented by Tulsa attorney Michael Atkinson.

Narconon Arrowhead is also under investigation by the Pittsburg County district attorney and by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Richard Hull, assistant district attorney, said he is waiting to receive a toxicology report from the state medical examiner in Murphy's death before wrapping up his investigation.

The medical examiner's office already has listed the cause and manner of death for Graves and Holten as unknown.

Jeff Dismukes, spokesman for the mental health department, said his agency's investigation is not yet complete.


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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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