Parents sue treatment centre over son's death
Taylor Argent, 17, checked into the Central Alberta Recovery Centre in March 2007 to receive addictions treatment in March 2007. He died two days later on April 2 from acute ethylene glycol toxicity.
A fatality inquiry held in June found the teenager consumed antifreeze he discovered in an unlocked garage at the privately run centre, which is now known as Serenity Ranch.
In a statement of claim filed in Red Deer Court of Queen's Bench in May, Kim and Mike Argent allege the negligence of staff at the facility caused their son's death.
They also allege the defendants failed to notice signs of impairment, failed to provide staff with appropriate training and were negligent in allowing a patient at a treatment centre access to toxic substances.
The Argents also allege staff at the facility kept the details of their son's death from them. They claim staff told them he had stumbled and fallen asleep before an ambulance was called.
None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been proven in court. The owner of Serenity Ranch and the facility's lawyer did not return calls from the CBC.
They have yet to file a statement of defence.
In his fatality inquiry report released last month, Provincial Court Judge J.A. Hunter found there is no oversight of private treatment facilities in Alberta, no minimum standards to follow, and no one inspecting them.
He recommended the province set minimum standards for care in all such facilities and inspect them regularly.
According to the fatality inquiry report, staff noticed Argent repeatedly falling down, stumbling and urinating on the bathroom floor before he passed out on his bedroom floor with his feet on the bed.
Staff only called for medical help when Argent could not be awakened the next morning. He died later that day at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.