AAC sued for another Las Vegas patient death

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April Leeming died in September of 2018 at a Las Vegas drug and alcohol rehabilitation hospital. (Photo courtesy family).
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April Leeming died in September of 2018 at a Las Vegas drug and alcohol rehabilitation hospital. (Photo courtesy family).

A Las Vegas alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility is being sued by the mother of April Leeming, a 33-year-old Arizona woman who died within 17 hours of being admitted to Desert Hope, licensed by the state as a medical facility and owned by American Addiction Centers, the first publicly traded rehab company in the nation. 

The suit alleges Desert Hope promoted and represented itself as having “medical monitoring 24/7 by a licensed medical team of physicians, nurses, and support staff knowledgeable on detox and withdrawal from different drugs.” 

“Upon admittance, April disclosed her medical history, facility staff performed an alcohol screening that determined she had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .257, and she underwent a withdrawal assessment where staff ‘observed and recorded her symptoms including her inability to walk requiring a wheelchair, severe tremors, nausea with vomiting, auditory and visual disturbance, disorientation as to time and place, elevated vital signs, dilated pupils, significant pain, and delirium tremens.’” 

The suit alleges Desert Hope failed to provide the medical care Leeming required and that the decision to keep her at Desert Hope “was motivated by greed and their own financial self-interests.” 

“Defendants continue to deceive potential clients and their families into believing that their facilities provide a program that includes physicians onsite and 24/7 medical supervision in a hospital setting when, in fact, they provide no such service,” according to a news release issued by the law firm representing Leeming.

AAC faces another wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the 2017 overdose death of 23-year-old Cody Arbuckle at its Solutions Recovery facility in Las Vegas.  The company has since closed Solutions Recovery. 

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  In the past, it has declined to discuss patient deaths, citing medical privacy laws. 

Last year a California jury hit AAC with a $7 million judgment in the wrongful death of Shaun Reyna. Attorneys in the Reyna case are representing Leeming’s mother. 

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.

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