On February 8, 2013, Narconon of Georgia settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed against it almost three years earlier by the family of a former patient who died of a drug overdose while supposedly receiving court-ordered drug treatment that cost the patient’s parents $30,000 for what they were told would be supervised, around-the-clock care. The settlement follows a Georgia state judge’s findings and order in November 2012 that Narconon of Georgia “repeatedly and willfully obstructed the discovery process” and “falsely denied the existence of clearly relevant, responsive documents and information” and therefore ordered that Narconon of Georgia’s initial response to the plaintiffs’ complaint be stricken from the jury’s consideration.
The judge’s November 5, 2012 order had the effect of precluding Narconon of Georgia from denying its alleged misrepresentations regarding its program (including the allegation that Narconon of Georgia steered clients to housing leased by employees, ex-employees, and fellow members of the Church of Scientology, which its director attended), that it illegally operated a residential facility while it was licensed only for outpatient care, and that its negligence led to the death of the plaintiffs’ family member. Source
The 28-year-old Florida resident who suffered with drug and alcohol abuse issues was sentenced to six months in a residential drug treatment facility and thereafter sought treatment at Narconon of Georgia that advertised itself as a nonconventional residential drug treatment program. He died of an overdose when he used alcohol and heroin in June 2008 after he had allegedly gotten drunk with a program manager. The wrongful death lawsuit alleged that Narconon of Georgia misled the sentencing court as well as the patient’s family into believing that it offered and that the patient would receive secure in-patient residential drug and alcohol treatment even though it did not have the appropriate license to provide in-patient residential treatment.
Narconon of Georgia describes itself on it’s Facebook page as follows: “Narconon of Georgia Drug Rehabilitation Founded in 2001, Narconon of Georgia is a non-traditional drug treatment program. We offer non 12 step long term drug treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction, substance abuse and chemical dependency for women and men Narconon specializes in addressing cravings through a Sauna and Exercise Detoxification Program. Sauna detoxification is followed by Life Skills Training to prevent relapse with resultant 76% success rate. Narconon of Georgia is a non-profit company.”
The settlement reached with the patient’s family only three days before the jury trial was scheduled to begin does not end the Church of Scientology-affiliated Narconon of Georgia’s legal problems: in late December 2012, the Georgia Department of Community Health informed Narconon of Georgia that its license was being revoked for misrepresenting itself as a residential treatment facility. Narconon of Georgia appealed the ruling, requesting a hearing as provided by state law, and remains open pending the appeal. In addition to the Georgia Department of Community Health action, the State Insurance Commissioner is investigating Narconon of Georgia after a former patient’s mother alleged that her insurer was billed $166,275 for doctor visits that never occurred and for treatment that was never provided.
If you or a loved one were harmed as a result of medical misrepresentation in Georgia or in another state in the United States, you should promptly seek the advice of a Georgia medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may be able to answer your medical malpractice questions for you and represent you in a medical malpractice claim, if appropriate.
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