Civil cases pending criminal case in alleged drug diversion at Asante

MEDFORD, Ore. – As we await the start of a trial in the criminal investigation into alleged drug diversion at Asante, local attorneys say their pending civil cases against the Medford-based health system are waiting to proceed.

Dani Marie Schofield faces 44 counts of second-degree assault in connection with the alleged drug diversion case at Asante’s Rogue Regional Medical Center.

Schofield posted bail in June and, as the criminal case against her plays out in court, a criminal trial may not begin until next year.

One civil lawsuit has already been filed against Asante and Schofield by Idiart Law Group, who is representing the estate of 65-year-old Horace Wilson, who died while hospitalized at Asante’s RRMC.

That lawsuit alleges in part that a nurse replaced Wilson’s prescribed fentanyl with unsterilized tap water, introducing bacteria into his central line and ultimately resulting in an unexplained decline in Wilson’s health.

At least two other local law firms are representing clients planning to sue Asante and possibly Schofield, but civil cases like these more often than not don’t begin until the criminal process wraps up.

Criminal cases going to trial can help provide vital testimony and evidence to civil lawyers.

“The criminal cases always go first because they have priority under the constitutions of the United States and the state of Oregon to go first,” said Tom Petersen with Black Chapman Petersen and Stevens. “That is a right to a speedy trial. Both the people of the state and the defendant have those rights. So those cases will go first.”

Schofield is scheduled to appear in court on July 29 for a pre-trial conference.

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Sean Walters earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Emerging Media and Digital Arts from Southern Oregon University. As a result of an accelerated academic program, he graduated in just three years. He was born in Antioch, California, then grew up in Southern Oregon. Sean loves to travel, play guitar and study filmmaking and photography.
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