An attorney for a Knoxville methadone clinic named in a lawsuit over the death of Henry Granju says the facility has been wrongfully accused.

DRD Knoxville Medical Clinic Inc. is accused in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the 18-year-old’s parents of allowing Yolanda Harper and Randall Houser to take methadone home rather than administering the drug — an opiate used to treat opiate addiction — to them at the facility. Henry Granju’s parents, Knoxville blogger Katie Granju and Knox County employee Chris Granju, contend in the lawsuit that Harper and Houser gave their son a fatal dose of methadone obtained from the clinic last year.

They named Harper, Houser and the clinic as defendants.

But the clinic’s attorney, James G. O’Kane, wrote in a letter contained in the Knox County Sheriff’s Office’s investigative file on Henry Granju’s death that not only are Harper and Houser not patients of the clinic, but they aren’t registered as methadone patients at any facility in the state.

“My client has determined that the two individuals named in the lawsuit, who allegedly distributed methadone to the decedent, have never been patients of DRD Knoxville Medical Clinic,” O’Kane wrote in a letter to the Granjus’ attorney, William Gribble. “In addition, it appears as though neither of these individuals are in the statewide database as having ever been patients of any methadone treatment clinic in the State of Tennessee,”

O’Kane is demanding that Gribble drop the lawsuit against DRD now or risk footing the bill for the clinic’s defense should DRD prevail.

Knox County Assistant District Attorney General Kevin Allen, who was assigned to review KCSO’s findings to determine if anyone could be prosecuted in connection with the teenager’s death, tried to find out for himself if Harper and Houser are registered methadone patients, the investigative file shows.

He wrote a letter to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, which oversees the methadone patient registry, earlier this month after O’Kane demanded Gribble drop DRD from the lawsuit.

“I understand that the State of Tennessee oversees a database to track methadone distribution, and if DRD is correct, these names should not appear on the State of Tennessee’s list as active or historical methadone patients,” Allen wrote. “The question then remains as to whether you can verify their respective exclusion from the State’s database.”

The agency refused to provide an answer.

“The Central Registry (Methadone Registry), unlike the Sex Offender Registry or other such registries, is not a public record, nor is its contents available for public inspection,” attorney Sandra Braber-Grove wrote on the agency’s behalf. “The sole function of a central registry is to prevent multiple enrollments of individuals receiving methadone treatment. Any information disclosed to a central registry may not be (revealed) or used for any other purpose than the prevention of multiple enrollments, unless directed by a court order.”

Allen’s boss, District Attorney General Randy Nichols, on July 21 concluded there was not enough evidence to mount a criminal case against Harper and Houser in Henry Granju’s death. So far, Gribble has not filed a motion to dismiss DRD from the lawsuit.