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Defense Verdict in Wrongful Death Action

Doug Poling recently obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial held in Adams County, Colorado. White and Steele’s client, a licensed drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment center, was accused of causing the death of a male patient through the negligent administration of a prescription medication used to help opioid dependent patients avoid relapse into addiction after detoxification. The core argument was that a nurse administered the medication to the patient without first confirming he was adequately detoxified from opioids, thereby causing accelerated and severe withdrawal symptoms that allegedly caused the patient’s death. Following a four-day jury trial, the jury returned a defense verdict finding that the nurse properly educated and screened the patient prior to administration of the medicine. The jury further found that the patient and his wife had misrepresented material information to the nurse about the timing of the patient’s most recent opioid use.