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Mom of Man who Died in O.C. Detox Home Sues for Wrongful Death

The state has already shut down West Coast Detox.

The Redmer family, (L-R), Jason, Lynne and brother Chris. Photo courtesy of Lynne Redmer.
The Redmer family, (L-R), Jason, Lynne and brother Chris. Photo courtesy of Lynne Redmer.

Almost two years after her son died in a Huntington Beach residential detox center, Lynne Redmer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the now-closed facility.

Jason Redmer, a San Juan Capistrano resident, entered West Coast Detox Center on Yale Circle in April 2012, seeking treatment from an alcohol addiction. Redmer turned to alcohol as a way to self-medicate a long-standing struggle with depression, the lawsuit says.

He was ready to finally break free. But four days, he was dead.

Patch first broke the story about a number of infractions at the West Coast Detox Center, violations so severe, the state moved to shut it down last year.

Now comes the lawsuit with even more details.

Contacted by phone, West Coast’s owner, Don Ramsey told Patch: “I have no comment at this time.”

“West Coast Detox and Don Ramsey were not forthcoming about what happened to Jason. 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,” Anthony Lanzone, the attorney for Lynne Redmer, said in a statement. “Hopefully with this lawsuit we can hold this facility and Mr. Ramsey accountable for their callous inaction.”

The lawsuit alleges that Lynne and Jason Redmer specifically sought out a medical detox and that West Coast staffers represented that was exactly what Jason would receive.

While West Coast was specifically licensed as a nonmedical residential facility, Lynne and Jason were told the doctor would check in with him the next day, the lawsuit states.

But even before then, staffers provided Jason with a number of strong anti-withdrawal medications from a stash they called the “dead meds” – medications left behind by previous clients the lawsuit states.

West Coast staff members twice caught Jason with a ladder, trying to gain access to the dead meds during his stay, the lawsuit says.

The first time, the staff member did not report the incident. The second time, Jason admitted to swallowing some Soboxone pills, an opiate, the lawsuit says.

This time, management and Ramsey were contacted, but no one called a doctor, and West Coast staff decided to monitor Redmer themselves, despite his appearance of being “hazy,” “out of it,” “loaded,” “incoherent” and not like himself,” the lawsuit say.

His roommate found him the next morning, slumped over with blood coming from his mouth. Jason died before emergency personnel could respond, the lawsuit says.

Lynne Redmer’s lawsuit, which does not offer a dollar sum she is seeking, is claiming Ramsey breached his contract with the Redmers, violated state law, committed fraud and unnecessarily caused Jason’s death.

Thomas Schomburg Sr. February 05, 2014 at 08:01 PM
This man checked himself into this facility with the expectation of getting clean, instead he died in their care. This is an outrage! Tragically this type of business, although licensed by the State, is not properly regulated or audited by the very same entity that grants permission to operate. Moreover, a non-medical facility should not have narcotics on hand, let alone dispense them. I pray Lynne and her family get the closure they seek and the operators of the facility are held to answer.

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