Praxis Landmark license revoked as multiple patients file lawsuit
Amid complaints from law enforcement and an investigation from state officials, Indiana's division of Mental Health and Addiction announced Thursday it revoked the state license for three Praxis Landmark facilities, including one in St. Joseph County.
A spokeswoman from Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration, which houses the mental health and addicition division, confirmed the news to WVPE in an email on Thursday and said the licenses for two other Praxis centers in Carmel and Fort Wayne have also been revoked.
News of the license being revoked comes on the heels of nine patients filing a lawsuit against the Landmark Recovery center, which operates as Praxis off of Elm Road. The suit claims patients suffered “severe injuries” at Landmark and the center did not provide adequate care.
More specifically, the suit says patients weren’t getting the prescriptions they needed or being properly fed. There was also allegedly urine in the hallways and at least one patient was denied access to a working toilet for 24 hours.
The patients are being represented by Crossen law firm out of Carmel and are asking for punitive damages.
In a written statement Thursday afternoon, Praxis said it is disappointed in the ruling and plans to appeal.
"Landmark Recovery is disappointed to announce that the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addiction has revoked our license at three of our facilities," the statement read. "We respectfully disagree with this decision and believe it is based on misinformation. We are working with our legal counsel to explore the next steps including an appeal. In the meantime, we are committed to the well-being of our patients and staff and will work to ensure a safe environment for everyone involved. We appreciate your continued support during this time."
The lawsuit comes after St. Joseph County Sheriff Bill Redman’s office sent a letter to state officials asking for the treatment center to be shut down because of numerous 911 calls and two overdose deaths in two days in early July. There was an overdose death reported at Praxis on Nov. 9 and a suicide on July 9.
The sheriff's department sent a letter to the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction on July requested the state office revoke Praxis Landmark's license. Since Praxis opened in August of last year, county police say that there has been an average of more than one call a day between fire and police.
Earlier this month the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration released a written statement saying that its Division of Mental Health and Addiction “has an open investigation and continues to review all reports we have received.”
Soon after, Landmark Recovery announced it was no longer accepting new patients and that the executive director and director of nursing at the facility had been fired. It is unclear what's next for the facility after its license has been revoked or whether the center must immediately cease all operations.