Narconon, family reach settlement

WSB Radio, Georgia/February 11, 2013

Norcross, Georgia - Narconon, the drug and alcohol treatment program closely affiliated with the Church of Scientology, has reached a settlement agreement with the family of a 28-year old former Marine who died of an overdose while in the facility's care five years ago.

Terms of the settlement between Narconon of Georgia, Narconon International and the family of Patrick Desmond were not disclosed in a statement from the Desmonds' attorney, Jeff Harris:

"On Friday, February 8, 2013, Desmond v. Narconon of Georgia / Narconon International was settled to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. However, our investigation into claims of insurance fraud, illegal housing operations and other potentially illegal activities committed by Narconon of Georgia is ongoing. Our firm represents a number of potential claimants who want to see the state revoke Narconon of Georgia's license and shut themdown permanently. As long as Narconon of Georgia continues to operate, we will continue to vigorously investigate and bring additional claims."

Patrick died of a heroin overdose after a night of drinking with a staff member at Narconon. His family and the drug court that sentenced him to rehab were told Narconon was an inpatient program. It was only after Patrick's death that they found Narconon is licensed solely for outpatient treatment.

"Everything about them is a lie," said Colleen Desmond in an interview last September.

The settlement, reached late Friday, does not mean this story is over. As WSB's Pete Combs has reported, Narconon is appealing the Georgia Department of Community Health decision to yank its license. Narconon is now also the subject of an insurance fraud investigation.

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