The parents of a man killed in a car wreck have sued the methadone clinic that provided the drug to their daughter-in-law, who was driving at the time.
Johnson said the widow, who is facing charges of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence, was provided the methadone by the Alliance Recovery Center. He added she tested positive for methadone and fentanyl.
“Methadone is a legal treatment option for people suffering addiction, of course,” said Johnson. “We believe the fentanyl was, in this case, obtained illegally for the purpose of getting high.”
A key issue regarding the clinic will be whether it followed guidelines requiring that patients be screened for drugs before they are given methadone, which is an opioid.
Alliance operates clinics in Decatur, Conyers and Athens, according to its website. A staff member at the Decatur office said she would forward inquiries to an administrator Monday morning, but no response was immediately forthcoming.
According to Johnson and the complaint filed in DeKalb County State Court, Troy Dailey was riding in a Ford Escape driven by his wife, Taylor Dailey, in Newton County when the crash happened.
Johnson said the incident occurred on a Saturday morning shortly after Taylor was given methadone at an Alliance clinic.
She was attempting to turn left into a gas station when the SUV was broadsided by a pickup truck driven by Timothy Anderson.
Troy Ryan Dailey, 25, died at the scene, Johnson said. His wife was “mildly injured” and subsequently charged in Newton County.
Anderson was not cited, but a witness said he was seen driving at a high rate of speed shortly before the wreck, Johnson said. Records indicated Anderson had his license suspended for motor vehicle violations, including a 1987 felony conviction for being a habitual violator, Johnson said.
Taylor Dailey has since remarried and is now Taylor Chriswell.
The lawsuit was filed by Dailey’s parents, Troy Richard and Brandee Dailey. Their son did not have any children.
Alliance, Anderson, Chriswell and her father, Thomas Blackwell, are all named as defendants.
The lawsuit includes claims for wrongful death against all the defendants. It also accuses the clinic of negligently failing to test Chriswell prior to providing her methadone, failing to “detox or bring down her dosage until she abstained from illicit drug use” and for allowing her to drive when she was using methadone and fentanyl.
The other defendants face claims of negligence and, in Blackwell’s case, negligent entrustment.
“We think this was a preventable accident that could have been avoided,” Johnson said.
“My clients believe the Georgia Legislature should pass a law to prohibit people from driving under the influence of methadone when they’ve been taking other drugs,” he said.