Parents awarded $10.25M after son dies in detox center

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KEARNEY, Mo. — A Kearney couple won more than $10 million in a lawsuit against a California rehabilitation facility, but they’ll be the first to say they won nothing.

Brandon Jacques, 20, had so much going for him.

The college student at Park University had a keen, dry sense of humor and was passionate about working out and riding his motorcycle.

“He was funny. He was witty,” his mother, Kim Jacques, said.

But, his parents, were increasingly concerned over his struggles too.

“Brandon had an eating disorder, and he started drinking to off-set the bulimia,” his father, Ted Jacques, said.

So, when Brandon Jacques approached his parents asking for help, they found an opening at the Sober Way home in Arizona. A 30-day stay that seemed to help.

“He was becoming his old self again … talked about getting home and back to college and stuff like that,” Kim Jacques said.

But, that facility suggested more intense treatment at the Morningside Recovery in Newort Beach, CA, where Brandon Jacques wasn’t allowed to make phone calls.

After another month and $25,000, that facility suggested yet another transfer, this time, to nearby First House.

After only two days at that third place, April 2, 2011, he died from cardiac arrest caused by an electrolyte imbalance from his “unabated” binging and purging.

“The evidence showed there is no treatment at these facilities, put a roof over their head. Witnesses said there were programs day-to-day … watch TV to keep them busy,” attorney Shawn Foster said.

Foster was most appalled by so much in this revealing case, but especially the illegal kickbacks between facilities to refer patients.

“The most shocking thing was the internal emails actually selling kids like a piece of meat,” Foster said.

“These places have to be shut down,” Ted Jacques said.

The family won a $10.25 million wrongful death lawsuit against that third facility. The other California facility settled for $3.7 million out of court.

The Jacques were not interested in the money, but want other families to be warned of places that are willing to take advantage of people at a very vulnerable time.

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