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Scientology Detox Sued Over Suicide Bid

An ex-patient who leapt from a third-floor balcony at Narconon's Pur Detox Clinic launches a lawsuit for malpractice and negligence. 

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By McCarton Ackerman

09/20/12

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Another clinic that's part of Scientology's Narconon rehab chain is facing a damaging lawsuit. Former patient William Sweeney is suing the Pur Detox Clinic in Dana Point, California for negligence, medical malpractice and negligent supervision, after he jumped off a third-floor balcony in a suicide attempt while coming off the prescription meds to which he was addicted. Sweeney claims that he was rapidly weaned off the drugs following a mere 20-minute interview, that no staff members ever checked up on him to see if he was suffering from withdrawal symptoms, and that he only saw a doctor once during his stay. While the staff member assigned to him was sleeping on another floor last December 11, states the lawsuit, "at approximately 6 pm plaintiff returned to the unsecured third floor, went out on to the unsecured balcony through an unlocked and unalarmed sliding door, and attempted suicide by jumping off the balcony." Sweeney's injuries included multiple fractures and he required a four-week stay in hospital. Another Narconon facility, Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma, was recently blamed for the deaths of three patients who were told to spend five hours per day in a sauna as part of their treatment. Seven patient deaths have been recorded at that facility since 2005.

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