The mother of a San Juan Capistrano man who died of a drug overdose is suing the now-closed Huntington Beach rehab.
Lynne Redmer, the mother of Jason Redmer, alleges breach of contract, fraud, unlawful business practices, wrongful death and dependent adult neglect in the lawsuit against West Coast Detox Services and its owner Don Ramsey.
Jason Redmer was admitted to the facility in April 2012 for medically supervised detox, but four days later the 28-year-old was found unresponsive in his bed by a roommate and later declared dead at the scene by emergency medical personnel.
The lawsuit, filed in Orange County Superior Court by Lanzone Morgan, LLP of Long Beach on behalf of Lynne Redmer, accuses Ramsey and his facility of having “repeatedly failed to provide a safe and healthful environment.”
Located in a single-family home on residential Yale Circle next to an elementary school, West Coast Detox had been the subject of numerous complaints by neighbors who told of spotty supervision of clients and discarded drug paraphernalia out in the open. A month before Redmer died, some on Yale Circle stormed a Huntington Beach City Council meeting to demand that West Coast Detox be shut down. City officials responded that state law tied their hands–at least until a city code was violated.
The state Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs launched an investigation that ended with West Coast Detox giving up its license last fall. According to Lynne Redmer's suit, the state probe revealed the facility failed to secure medications under lock and key and that the staff failed to immediately seek medical help when it discovered that Redmer had acquired and ingested drugs.
“West Coast Detox and Don Ramsey were not forthcoming about what happened to Jason,” Anthony Lanzone, Lynne Redmer's lawyer, says in a statement sent to the Weekly. “It took the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs to investigate this death to uncover the numerous violations of state regulations that govern the operation of these facilities. Hopefully with this lawsuit we can hold this facility and Mr. Ramsey accountable for their callous inaction.”
Lynne Redmer claims Ramsey refused to take any responsibility for the death of her son.
“I had to keep interrupting him to ask what happened to Jason,” she says in the statement. “It was like Ramsey didn't seem to get it that Jason passed away at his facility.”
Attempts by the Weekly to reach Ramsey were unsuccessful.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.