Driver, parents, doctor sued over fatal Los Osos crash

May 1, 2015
Alexander Gonzales

Alexander Gonzales

The mother of an 18-year a old man who was killed in a head-on collision in Los Osos last year is suing the driver, his parents and a doctor who reportedly administered an anti-addiction drug minutes before the crash. [Tribune]

Last June, Alexander Gonzales, 22, was driving in the wrong lane on South Bay Boulevard when he hit and killed Jackson Garland. Gonzales is currently a criminal defendant in the case and is charged with DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter.

Gonzales reportedly admitted to being both a heroin and methamphetamine addict. He also admitted to taking the two drugs the day of the crash, though the prosecution and defense dispute whether Gonzales used the drugs one hour or 13 hours prior to the fatal accident.

Both Gonzales’ attorney Darryl Genis and the lawsuit filed by Garland’s mother, Julie Stahl, point to the anti-addiction drug as a cause of the crash. Kenneth Star, who operates Starr Addiction Medicine Group reportedly administered the drug Vivitrol to Gonzales.

Vivitrol interacted with the heroin in his blood and caused Gonzales to pass out at the wheel, Genis argued.

The lawsuit states Gonzales received the Vivitrol injection about 17 minutes before the crash, and he left Starr’s office approximately 10 minutes before the crash. Starr knew or should have known Gonzales was under the influence of drugs and should have stopped him from driving, the suit alleges.

The suit also blames the driver’s parents, Greg and Cynthia Gonzales, for letting him operate a motor vehicle while knowing he was under the influence of drugs.


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Well, I just have a few thoughts.

Once a child turns 18, there is NOTHING a loving set of parents can do to help their now adult child if they do not choose the help. If the parent of the child killed is trying to say that perhaps since the parents of Alexander Gonzalez paid for his car, the car was in his name, paid for car insurance, etc… that that somehow meant that the parents knew about his drug behavior is ABSURD.

Next is the Los Osos Vivitriol doc. I do not know him, or have not heard anything about him. I know he doesn’t take medi-cal. In fact, I don’t think ANYONE takes medi-cal for payment for detox in SLO county, as I don’t think medi-cal pays for it outpatient. Drug and Alcohol services and AEGIS clinics have patients pay for it as far as I know, last I heard, Suboxone costs about $160/month for treatment at Drug and ETOH. My point is, this guy was going to a private doctor, trying to get sober. Either HE, or HIS FAMILY, wanted him sober. They were willing to pay a private doctor $$$ to help him clean up.

Drug testing. First of all, if someone is coming in VOLUNTARILY, why test them? They aren’t on probation. I can’t imagine this accused young man did not sign paperwork agreeing not to use drugs while taking this. I cannot imagine the doctor not thoroughly explaining the risks of using heroin or other illicit/prescribed drugs while on this treatment plan. Even IF the doctor drug tested Alexander, what would keep him from having a false positive for opioids? He would have to have a more drug specific test done before receiving the medication, and I am honestly not sure how quickly that can be done. It is certainly not something that can be done in a “kit” in an office setting. It would be a lab send out, which defeats the purpose of this outpatient kind of treatment.

If I had to guess, maybe Alexander Gonzalez parents knew he struggled with drugs and alcohol. They paid for this detox treatment at this doctor. Maybe they even gave him an ultimatum to seek treatment “or else”. Maybe this kid went to this doctor, who explained the risks of using while on this drug. Maybe Alex lied because he knew his parents would cut him off? I don’t know…… I just don’t see how anyone else should be responsible for his behavior but Alex himself.

I am very sorry for the family who lost their 18 year old. Suing everyone isn’t going to bring their son back. While this family has my sympathy, their lawyer would have to prove to me that Alex’s family KNEW he was actively using and still turned over keys to him before I would even consider them liable in any way. If he was seeking treatment, they likely believed he was sober.

“interacted with the heroin in his blood”? The heroin his blood was fine by itself?

Going after the Parents of an 18yr old Adult….nope, that ain’t gonna fly, nor should it.

The Man who did it is responsible….go after him rather than the deep pockets that the rest of us then have to pay for with higher malpractice insurance!

Your son was killed by a druggie…it was HORRIBLE, but his death didn’t win you a Lottery Ticket!

Mr. Gonzales? SHOCKING

Not making excuses for the scumbag drug addict manslaughterer, but the doctor may have some negligence liability here. Depends upon what the standard procedure is when they inject this drug into someone – like ensuring they are not high, did not drive to the facility, and have a ride home.

My dentist made me get a ride when he took out my wisdom teeth.

It’s always such a tragedy when a drunk/drugged driver survives, and the innocent driver perishes.

Wish life were more fair.

Not to be snarky, but heroin causes you to nod out also. I am sick and tired of medical rates going up because everyone wants to sue doctors.

The doctor gave him something to counteract the drugs in his system, he did not make him drive the car, or do the meth, it sounds like they were trying to help him.

I know when you sue you name everyone and everything you can. Yet she could have choose not to go after the doctor just the same.

Sorry for your loss.

I like the idea that if you lose in a personal lawsuit, you get to pay for the winners court costs.