Klean runs a voluntary drug abuse treatment center. Jackson, an enrollee at the Klean facility, snuck out late at night, obtained heroin which he brought back to the facility and used causing injury to himself. He sued Klean for negligence in failing to prevent him from obtaining the heroin and in failing to discover before morning that he was unconscious from the overdose. Held, the Drug Dealer Liability Act (Health & Saf. Code, § 11700), which permits users of certain illegal controlled substances, under limited circumstances, to pursue claims against providers of such substances but not against others, does not preempt a drug user’s common law remedies. However, Klean was entitled to summary judgment because it owed Jackson no common law duty of care. It was an unlocked facility and so couldn’t prevent enrollees from absconding to obtain drugs. Also, it could not have determined anything was wrong with Jackson had it checked since he appeared to be sleeping during the early morning hours when sleep would be normal.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4 (Manella, J.); March 8, 2018; 2018 WL 1193191