Lawsuit Alleges Negligence in Fentanyl Overdose Death of Nashville Toddler

Jul 18, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Stranch, Jennings & Garvey, PLLC (SJ&G) has filed a lawsuit against a landlord and tenant for their alleged responsibility in the November 2022 fentanyl overdose death of an infant.

SJ&G is representing Mickey Rose, the grandfather of Ariel Rose, who died due to the negligence of defendants Community Care Fellowship, Inc. (CCF) and 2030 25th Ave., LLC d/b/a Highroad Place (Highroad). The defendants owned and managed the facility located at 2030 25th Ave. N. 

While one-year-old Ariel Rose was at Highroad on Nov. 9, she was exposed to a lethal dose of fentanyl, an illegal and deadly opioid-based drug. Her preventable death occurred just two days after her arrival at Highroad.

Plaintiff Mickey Rose filed the suit, which alleges the defendants were negligent and failed to ensure the safety of the property’s occupants. 

“The defendants knew that illicit drug use frequently took place at this housing facility, and they did nothing to stop it,” said J. Gerard Stranch IV, founding and managing member of SJ&G. “The Metro Nashville Police Department received more than 145 calls about illicit conduct at the facility between Jan. 1, 2022, and Ariel’s tragic death on Nov. 11.”

Cited in the complaint filed by SJ&G on Monday, July 17, are several drug-related incidents at Highroad, including:

  • March 30, 2022 — the discovery of a deceased individual alongside a bottle of oxycodone;
  • April 23, 2022 — a deceased individual found near an assortment of drug paraphernalia;
  • May 16, 2022 — an unresponsive woman found with drug paraphernalia who required hospitalization; and 
  • July 23, 2022 — the arrest of an individual in possession of a glass crack pipe.

“The defendants failed to do their part in keeping my sweet Ariel safe,” said Mickey Rose. “They did nothing to stop the flow of drugs into and out of the facility. No child should have to live in those conditions, and now my granddaughter is dead.”

The plaintiff also seeks damages under Tennessee’s Drug Dealer Liability Act (DDLA), which provides a civil remedy to persons damaged in a community as a result of illegal drug use. The plaintiff demands a jury trial and judgments that include compensatory damages and attorney fees and costs.

The defendants committed acts that helped facilitate the distribution of fentanyl into the illegal market,” Stranch said. “These acts included failing to report all known illegal drugs for fear of losing grant monies and programs, which resulted in Ariel’s access to and consumption of a fatal dose of illegal opioids.” 

Also representing the Rose family are SJ&G attorneys Isaac U. Kimes and R. Caleb Harbison. The suit was filed in Davidson County Circuit Court in Nashville. A copy of the complaint can be viewed here.