Overdosed while in treatment...

by Anonymous
(New Jersey)

I overdosed at my treatment facility with drugs prescribed by my psychiatrist. The staff was supposed to take possession of the drugs once they were filled, but they didn't. They knew I had the medication and during a stressful situation, I started to self medicate.

I was hospitalized for a week and upon my release, I was told I had violated the terms of the lease by overdosing on property. I am not entitled to a refund, which amounts to over $3000, and I have hospital bills of over $5000. The facility is denying any responsibility even though they are aware that I am an ADDICT!

Is the facility liable since I almost died? Do I have any chance of recovering my rent so that I can pay the medical bills? It seems like they should have at least some responsibility for what happened. What can I do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Overdosed while in treatment...":

Anonymous (New Jersey):

Addiction treatment facilities exist to treat patients who may be addicted to drugs. By your own admission you are an addict. While the treatment center may have failed to take possession of the drugs, they are not responsible for your ingestion of the drugs.

The treatment center cannot be held liable for your violation of the rules of the center. If the terms of the contract you had with the treatment center stipulated ingestion or possession of drugs during treatment is a violation of the rules, then you may have breached the terms of the contract.

If the breach was conditional upon your remaining at the treatment facility, and a forfeiture of the monies already paid, then the treatment facility was within its legal rights.

In the alternative, if the treatment facility's contract did not contain language regarding a forfeiture of monies paid, then you may have the basis of a breach of contract claim, including compensation for your resulting medical bills.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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