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DCS won't place kids at troubled New Life Lodge rehab

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The Department of Children’s Services has stopped placing children in state care at Tennessee’s largest drug rehabilitation facility, which last year had two adult patients die within a six-week period. Citing concerns for the well-being of children in its care, DCS notified New Life Lodge of the decision on July 28. The 43 DCS children at the facility will remain there until their rehabilitation stays are complete, a state spokesman said. The cutoff came three days after The Tennessean published the results of a three-month investigation into New Life Lodge that uncovered the deaths, complaints about patient care and overcrowded conditions, and reduced oversight by the state. New Life Lodge...

Sudden death of mom raises questions about rehab center

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'Tennessean' Investigation For Lindsey Poteet, Sept. 1, 2010, was supposed to be the day she finished a monthlong drug rehabilitation program, giving her a fresh start to care for her 17-month-old daughter, Arwen. Instead she lay brain-dead and on life support in a Nashville hospital bed. The 29-year-old had checked into New Life Lodge, a residential drug rehab facility in the secluded town of Burns in Dickson County, in early August, but within weeks became very ill. The circumstances of her death have brought an array of unanswered questions from her family and shined a spotlight on the oversight of the largest drug rehabilitation facility in the state that is also one of the largest...

Tennessee Department of Mental Health shuts down New Life Lodge for investigation

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The Tennessee Department of Mental Health has shut down New Life Lodge after an ongoing investigation revealed the troubled drug treatment facility failed to provide adequate medical care to its patients among other findings. Admissions have been...

New Life Lodge wants mother's lawsuit thrown out

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The parent company for the state’s largest drug rehabilitation center is asking a Dickson County judge to dismiss a $32 million lawsuit brought on by the mother of a young woman who died after...

Gail Kerr: Action against deficient New Life Lodge overdue

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The biggest question is: What took them so long? The Tennessee Department of Mental Health suspended all admissions at New Life Lodge last week, effectively shutting it down for at least four months or until a state investigation is complete. New Life is a Dickson County residential drug rehab center, the largest in the state. Tennessean investigative reporters Nate Rau and Walter F. Roche Jr. began looking at the facility last summer, after it came to light that two patients had died. The first was a man who, New Life reported to the state,...

New Life Lodge sued over second patient's death

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The state’s largest drug rehabilitation center has been hit with a second multimillion-dollar lawsuit, this one by a woman whose son died last year two days after checking into the facility. New Life Lodge and its former lead physician Dr. Jonathan W. Butler are accused of medical malpractice, negligence and wrongful death in the passing of Patrick Bryant, who died on his 20th birthday. Bryant’s mother, Penny Lynn Bryant, is seeking a total of $13 million in compensation and damages. Bryant says that her son was prescribed medications he should not have been and was unresponsive for about four hours before being discovered by staff....

New Life Lodge in Burns to reopen in April

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New Life Lodge, once the state’s largest drug rehabilitation facility, will reopen in April but at a greatly reduced capacity, after being effectively shut down by the state in November following the deaths of three patients “within days of admission and/or discharge” and concerns about its quality of medical care, according to public records released Friday. New Life Lodge, located in Burns, will accept only adult patients when it reopens. A spokeswoman for TennCare said none of the agency’s managed care providers are currently contracted with New Life Lodge. The Tennessee Department of Mental Health lifted its suspension of admissions at New Life Lodge on March 6, department spokesman...

New Life Lodge to reopen in April, accept only adults

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New Life Lodge, once the state’s largest drug rehabilitation facility, will reopen in April but at a greatly reduced capacity, after being effectively shut down by the state in November following the deaths of three patients “within days of admission and/or discharge” and concerns about its quality of medical care, according to public records released Friday. New Life Lodge, located in Burns, will accept only adult patients when it reopens. A spokeswoman for TennCare said none of the agency’s managed care providers are currently contracted with New Life Lodge. The Tennessee Department of Mental Health lifted its suspension of admissions at New Life Lodge on March 6, department spokesman...

New details emerge in second death at New Life Lodge

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Two days after Patrick Bryant checked into Tennessee’s largest drug treatment center last year for help overcoming his long battle with substance abuse, he was found collapsed and not breathing on the floor of his room. Emergency responders were unable to resuscitate Bryant, who ultimately died on July 16, his 20th birthday. With his passing, Bryant became the first of two New Life Lodge patients to die in 2010. Just weeks later, 29-year-old Lindsey Poteet died after a monthlong stay at the rehabilitation facility in the tiny town of Burns. New details of their deaths and other complaints about New Life Lodge have begun to emerge since The Tennessean published the results of a three-month...

Family sues New Life Lodge for $32M after woman's death

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Just shy of a year after her death, the family of a 29-year-old woman has filed a $32 million lawsuit against New Life Lodge and its parent company, CRC Health, charging the California firm put profits ahead of care for its patients. In a 13-page complaint filed this week in Dickson County Circuit Court, Lindsey Poteet’s mother charged that overcrowded conditions and inadequate staff led to the death of the Monterey resident on Sept. 1 of last year in a Nashville hospital. “Financial gain was placed ahead of the welfare of New Life Lodge’s residents including Lindsey Poteet,” the suit states. Randal Lea, New Life’s director of...

Details of rehab deaths at New Life Lodge emerge

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Two days after Patrick Bryant checked into Tennessee’s largest drug treatment center last year for help overcoming his long battle with substance abuse, he was found collapsed and not breathing on the floor of his room. Emergency responders were unable to resuscitate Bryant, who ultimately died on July 16, his 20th birthday. With his passing, Bryant became the first of two New Life Lodge patients to die in 2010. Just weeks later, 29-year-old Lindsey Poteet died after a monthlong stay at the rehabilitation facility in the tiny town of Burns. New details of their deaths and other complaints about New Life Lodge have begun to emerge since The Tennessean published the results of a three-month...

Family sues rehab for $32M after woman's death

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Just shy of a year after her death, the family of a 29-year-old woman has filed a $32 million lawsuit against New Life Lodge and its parent company, CRC Health, charging the California firm put profits ahead of care for its patients. In a 13-page complaint filed this week in Dickson County Circuit Court, Lindsey Poteet’s mother charged that overcrowded conditions and inadequate staff led to the death of the Monterey resident on Sept. 1 of last year in a Nashville hospital. “Financial gain was placed ahead of the welfare of New Life Lodge’s residents including Lindsey Poteet,” the suit states. Randal Lea, New Life’s director of...

TennCare official defends state's response in New Life Lodge deaths

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The top TennCare medical official defended in federal court on Wednesday the state’s response to the deaths of two New Life Lodge patients last year. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Wendy Long said TennCare acted appropriately by informing other state agencies — the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Children’s Services — following the 2010 deaths of patients at the state’s largest drug rehabilitation center. Long was testifying in the class action John B. lawsuit, which dates back to the 1990s. The suit alleges the state is failing to comply with a federal consent decree and is not providing adequate medical care to children enrolled in TennCare. During cross-examination from...

Official defends TennCare's response in New Life Lodge deaths

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The top TennCare medical official defended in federal court on Wednesday the state’s response to the deaths of two New Life Lodge patients last year. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Wendy Long said TennCare acted appropriately by informing other state agencies — the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Children’s Services — following the 2010 deaths of patients at the state’s largest drug rehabilitation center. Long was testifying in the class action John B. lawsuit, which dates back to the 1990s. The suit alleges the state is failing to comply with a federal consent decree and is not providing adequate medical care to children enrolled in TennCare. During cross-examination from...

TennCare official defends state's response in New Life deaths

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The top TennCare medical official defended in federal court on Wednesday the state’s response to the deaths of two New Life Lodge patients last year. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Wendy Long said TennCare acted appropriately by informing other state agencies — the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Children’s Services — following the 2010 deaths of patients at the state’s largest drug rehabilitation center. Long was testifying in the class action John B. lawsuit, which dates back to the 1990s. The suit alleges the state is failing to comply with a federal consent decree and is not providing adequate medical care to children enrolled in TennCare. During cross-examination from...

New Life Lodge owner loses bid to keep lawsuits separate

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The parent company of the state’s largest drug rehabilitation center lost a critical legal battle on Monday when a judge rejected a motion that could have dragged out indefinitely a $32 million lawsuit stemming from the 2010 death of a patient. Dickson County Circuit Judge George Sexton consolidated on Monday wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuits filed against New Life Lodge following the death of 29-year-old Lindsey...

Family files second suit over New Life rehab death

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The family of a 29-year-old woman who died while under treatment at the state’s largest drug treatment facility filed a second $32 million lawsuit late last week disclosing new details of her rapidly worsening medical condition during the last days and minutes of her brief life. The suit filed in Dickson County Circuit Court charges that the then-chief medical officer at New Life Lodge, Dr. Jonathan Butler, and two nurses failed to take proper action even as Lindsey Poteet’s blood pressure plunged and she became so weak she could not even stand up. According to the...

New Life Lodge rehab center wants wrongful death lawsuit tossed

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The parent company for the state’s largest drug rehabilitation center is asking a Dickson County judge to dismiss a $32 million lawsuit brought on by the mother of a young woman who died after checking into the facility last year. In its Sept. 30 filing in Dickson County Circuit Court, CRC Health claimed Kathy Mauk’s attorney did not follow the proper legal process for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. CRC Health also argued in its filing that Lindsey Poteet bore responsibility for her own death. Poteet was 29 years old when she died last year on the same day she was supposed to...

New Life Lodge rehab center wants lawsuit tossed

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The parent company for the state’s largest drug rehabilitation center is asking a Dickson County judge to dismiss a $32 million lawsuit brought on by the mother of a young woman who died after checking into the facility last year. In its Sept. 30 filing in Dickson County Circuit Court, CRC Health claimed Kathy Mauk’s attorney did not follow the proper legal process for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. CRC Health also argued in its filing that Lindsey Poteet bore responsibility for her own death. Poteet was 29 years old when she died last year on the same day she was supposed to...

11/11/11: New Life Lodge can't accept new patients

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This story was originally published on Nov. 11, 2011. The Tennessee Department of Mental Health has suspended all admissions at New Life Lodge, effectively shutting down the state's largest residential drug treatment facility for four months or until an ongoing investigation is completed. The admissions freeze by Mental Health came after its investigation revealed the facility failed to provide adequate medical care to its patients. Admissions have been suspended for 120 days pending completion of the investigation. With a capacity of 228 beds, the rehab center in Dickson County is the largest in the state. As a result of the suspension, New Life Lodge, which is in the small town of Burns,...