Rehab Facility Tried to Cover Up Cause of Death
(ESPANOLA, N.M.) – A Las Vegas, N.M., man’s death at an Espanola-area drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility was caused by the staff’s failure to provide him vital medication or medical care, according to a lawsuit filed by the Will Ferguson & Associates law firm.
The 26-year-old man died in 2009 at the Hoy Recovery Center in Velarde from acute symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, after staff denied him medications he had been prescribed prior to his arrival there and after they repeatedly denied his requests for medical treatment, according to the wrongful-death lawsuit filed on behalf of the man’s family by attorney Robert C. Gutierrez.
The case, filed in Rio Arriba County District Court, charged that the center’s officials failed in their responsibility to provide care to the patient while in their custody. They refused to take him to a nearby hospital where he could be treated, then tried to cover up his death by falsely telling the news media that he had died from a drug overdose, according to the lawsuit.
An autopsy by the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator concluded the man died from untreated alcohol withdrawal syndrome and not a drug overdose, according to the lawsuit.
“He died alone on the cold floor of the Hoy Rehabilitation Center bathroom,” Gutierrez said. “Officials at Hoy may have believed that his life had no value, but I disagree.”
The Will Ferguson & Associates Law Firm represents people seriously injured by the negligence of others and the families of persons who die because of the negligence of others. For more information, contact Will Ferguson & Associates, (505) 243-5566 or 1 (800) 251-5566. Will Ferguson & Associates maintains two offices in Albuquerque and an office in Amarillo, Texas, to serve families and people injured in Texas. That office is at 2901 I-40 West, Amarillo, Texas 79109. The Amarillo phone number is 806-374-4024.