NA Member Sues Portland Narcotics Anonymous after Being Scalded by Hot Coffee at NA Meeting


Attendee at Portland Narcotics Anonymous meeting sues for $10,000, claiming defective coffee maker scalded him

John Anthony Smith’s suit doesn’t state how badly he was burned by hot coffee at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Old Town Portland. 
February 06, 2015
A man who was attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Old Town Portland when he claims he was burned by hot coffee from a defective dispenser filed a $10,000 lawsuit this week against the recovery group.

John Anthony Smith states in his suit that he was getting a cup of coffee from an urn when the coffee sloshed out and scalded him last Aug. 21. His suit seeks $1,081 in medical bills from Narcotics Anonymous as well as Central City Concern, where the suit says the meeting was held.

Central City Concern is a nonprofit that aims to help people affected by homelessness, poverty and addictions. It has offices at 232 N.W. Sixth Avenue.

A Central City Concern spokeswoman said Friday her organization allows Narcotics Anonymous to use its space and bring in its own food and beverage, as well as a coffee maker.

“Even though we didn’t feel we were at fault, we did pay his medical bills, minus a $39 medical records fee,” said Central City Concern spokeswoman Kathy Pape. “We just felt like it was the right thing to do. It was the compassionate thing to do, because he was injured.”

Pape said her organization is perplexed about why Smith is still seeking payment of medical bills in his suit. Rapists in NA Daytona and AA Daytona Meetings Beware!

A volunteer who answered the phone at Portland’s Narcotics Anonymous said no one was available to comment about the specifics of the case. But the volunteer said the coffee at the meetings is made for and paid for by volunteers, and that trying to get money out of Narcotics Anonymous would be “like trying to squeeze water from a rock.”

The suit faults both organizations for allowing meeting participants to access the alleged “unreasonably dangerous” or “defective” coffee urn.

In addition to medical costs, Smith seeks up to $8,918 for pain and suffering.

Portland attorney Willard Merkel is representing Smith. The suit was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

— Aimee Green


2 Million Dollar Settlement for Atheist California Addict Mandated to 12 Step Program

Justice has been served! Barry Hazle Reaches a 2 million dollar settlement for being forced to attend a 12 step based program. This should put a damper on all the mandating of AA and NA meetings and 12 step rehab programs across this country. Something needs to stop the unconstitutional coercion of religious AA and NA meetings and 12 step rehabs programs!

Seven-Figure Settlement for Atheist Calif. Addict 

By TIM HULL  October 14th 2014

(CN) – A California atheist who was jailed after refusing to join a 12-step program because of its religious themes reached a $2 million settlement, his attorney said Tuesday.
Barry Hazle sued his parole officer, California corrections officials and Westcare Corp. after they revoked his probation for a drug conviction.
After pleading no-contest in 2006 to possession of methamphetamine, Hazle said he told officials several times that his atheism made him reluctant to participate in religious-treatment programs
In 2007, however, Hazle was allegedly paroled to a 90-day residential program that offered only the 12 Steps, many of which call for explicit acceptance of God.
Finding Hazle “disruptive,” though in a “congenial way,” for refusing to participate, staff reported him to his parole office, who sent him back to prison for about 100 days.
Hazle then filed a federal civil rights action seeking damages for false imprisonment, among other things.
U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell in San Francisco found that the defendants’ decision to return Hazle to prison had violated the First Amendment. Burrell turned the issue over to a jury to determine the amount of damages, but the jurors came back with an award of no damages.
Hazel appealed to the 9th Circuit after Judge Burrell refused his move for a new trial, and a three-judge appellate panel ruled in August 2013 that some kind of compensation was mandatory, “given this undisputed finding that Hazle’s constitutional rights were violated.”
The appellate panel also reversed the lower court’s summary judgment in favor of Westcare and remanded Hazle’s civil rights claims against the state contractor for trial.
The parties filed a stipulation Tuesday for voluntary dismissal with prejudice in Sacramento.
Under the settlement, Hazle will dismiss his civil-rights claims in exchange for $1 million from the state and $925,000 from Westcare, San Franciso-based attorney John Heller said.
“The settlement compensates Hazle for the violation of his rights, and for litigation fees and costs in the lengthy trial and appellate proceedings,” Heller said in a statement. Attorneys for the state and Westcare Corp. did not immediately return a request for comment.

Sexual Predators are Thriving In Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous Meetings

The hands of AA are there.

Do Sexual Predators Thrive in Alcoholics Anonymous? YES!

When I got sober at 17, AA welcomed me with open arms. I didn’t know back then that some of them were dangerous.

By Lily Weinstein

The good news is, you can be anything you want to be in AA. A writer, a flamenco dancer, a bank robber. I’ve met sober drug dealers and sober Oscar-winners. We’re nothing if not diverse, and to my mind, that’s one of the greatest blessings of the program. There’s a richness and breadth of experience in the rooms that’s unlike any other place I’ve been.

The bad news is, you can also be a sexual predator. Volusia County Drug Court.

I got sober at 17. For all of my drinking and drugging, I was still pretty naive. I had never had a boyfriend, I was a virgin, and I’d maybe kissed three boys ever. I was still a kid in all the important ways, except for the fact that I was a blackout drinker.

I thought young people’s meetings would be a safe place to clean myself up, but it turns out, not so much. Without knowing it, I was becoming a target.

I wish someone had told me, “Just because a guy has long-term sobriety doesn’t mean he isn’t going to take advantage of you.”

The young people’s meetings I went to all over Los Angeles featured a revolving cast of men that I would call perverts. They weren’t the obvious kind of creeps, either, with windowless white vans and long trench coats. They looked like everyone else at the meetings: tattooed and cool and smoking cigarettes.

These men swarmed me, as they did every other newcomer too young and inexperienced to distinguish between the loving hand of AA and the clammy hand of a predator. They welcomed me to the meetings, they gave me over-long hugs, they offered me smokes when I was still too young to buy my own. I felt absolutely enveloped by the program. I had never had so many people pay attention to me in my life.

But what I thought of as harmless flirting—and all flirting is harmless when you’re 17 and your curfew is 10 pm—these men rightly interpreted as vulnerability.

There was J, who asked me to his house to “read the Big Book.” When I arrived and asked what we were going to read, he laughed and showed me to his bedroom. I let him kiss me and grope me because I didn’t know I was allowed to say no. He was a grown-up; I was a kid. He’d been sober 15 years; I’d been sober a few months. He was in his 30s; I was 17. My parents had taught me to respect adults, and that’s what I thought I was doing. It can’t be wrong or immoral if J is doing it, I thought; he has a million sponsees and he’s a grown-up. NA Daytona Area Meetings refuse to pay rent to for Holly Hill Meetings.

There was C, who was 36 and also had double-digit sobriety. He had a daughter a few years younger than me. It’s strange to look back and call it rape—because I’ve been assaulted under much less ambiguous circumstances—but that’s absolutely what it was.

Part of what was so pernicious about these experiences was that no one was pointing a gun to my head. At the time, I felt like I was just doing the AA things that everyone talked about: having fun, blowing off steam, and enjoying that we-made-it-off-the-Titanic camaraderie. I didn’t know enough to be terrified when C told me to call him Daddy.

The problem, in my opinion, is systemic. AA is designed for adults, for people who have years of hard-won knowledge behind them, adults who do things like smoke, gamble, get tattoos and have sex. Yay for adulthood! All that stuff is fun.

But what happens when you throw teenagers into the mix—teenagers who, for all their posturing and pretension, are still children, albeit with grown-up bodies? We’re like fish in a barrel. Holly Hill AA and NA Meetings in Parks.

One of the seminal moments in my sobriety happened when I was about 19. I was at a meeting—one of the biggest in LA—with my best girlfriend. The speaker that night was a handsome guy in his early 40s. He was charming and funny: think George Clooney with tattoos and a former heroin habit. He was about five minutes into his pitch when he casually announced that he used to rape women.

My best friend and I locked eyes—both of us had been sexually assaulted and just hearing the word rape was enough to raise the hairs on our arms. We were dumbfounded that this man was coolly admitting that part of his alcoholic “bottom” was forcing women to have sex with him. For him, raping women was just another part of “what happened.”

It wasn’t his confession alone that was so disturbing, though. It was the room’s reaction—non-reaction, actually. No one stormed out of the meeting. No one threw rotten fruit. I don’t even remember seeing anyone else look uncomfortable.

The message I got that night was deafening: AA will accept you no matter what you did in your drinking days. You can even be a confessed rapist. Continue reading