I hope today finds all of you well. It has been sometime since I have posted here on clambake. The main reason being to KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT as to particulars in regard to very important actions within our state.
I thank all whom added to the equation.http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint ... 408.0.htmlviewtopic.php?f=12&t=33257http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/de ... gia/nS2mB/
Victory for family of drug treatment patienthttp://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/de ... gia/nS2mB/http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/judg ... tre/nS2fH/
By Jodie Fleischer
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —
The family of a man who died while under the care of a local drug treatment facility won a huge court victory this week.
DeKalb County State Court Judge Stacey Hydrick issued sanctions against Narconon of Georgia, finding the program's director lied under oath and hid evidence.
"There's really nothing else that a judge can do that's stronger than what the judge has done here," said attorney Jeff Harris.
Harris is representing the family of Patrick Desmond, who died in 2008 after trying heroin for the first time.
Desmond was enrolled in Narconon of Georgia for alcohol addiction, but got drunk with a housing monitor, and left with two program flunkees. Later, the Desmonds found out the Gwinnett facility is only licensed as an outpatient program.
"It breaks my heart. He wasn't cared for. I feel the whole place was just a total fake scam," Patrick's mother, Colleen Desmond, told Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer in September. "We were assured all along the line, this was an inpatient situation."
During our investigation, we even caught Narconon's parent organization, Narconon International, advertising the program as residential on its website. The Desmonds say the Georgia program director, Mary Rieser, lied to them.
In September, Rieser disputed that saying, "I will never knowingly accept somebody here if I know they've been ordered inpatient, because we're not."
But Judge Hydrick's ruling says in hearings, Rieser's "responses were patently false," that Narconon of Georgia "repeatedly and willfully obstructed the discovery process," and even "falsely denied the existence of clearly relevant, responsive documents and information."
"If you can't get those documents and can't get that evidence, you can't prove your case. The only way to make the punishment fit the crime is to basically deem the case as being admitted as true," said Harris.
The judge ordered Narconon of Georgia's response to the initial complaint stricken from what the jury will be able to consider. That means the facility's attorneys cannot deny that it misrepresented itself, that it operated an illegal residential facility, and that negligence led to Patrick Desmond's death.
Harris says the ruling for sanctions is so strong, lawyers often refer to it as the civil-case version of the 'death penalty.'
It doesn't bring Patrick back, but his parents say they don't want any other families misled.
"At the end of the day, they've still lost their son. But all they really wanted in this case was justice, and I think we're getting a lot closer to getting that," said Harris....
http://www.wsbradio.com/news/news/narco ... ase/nS2rW/
Judge imposes harsh sanctions on Norcross drug treatment facility - AJC
By Christian Boone
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
In a rare move, a DeKalb County state judge has withdrawn a Norcross drug treatment facility’s response to allegations in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a former patient’s parents.
Judge Stacey K. Hydrick said in a court order Nov. 5 that Narconon of Georgia “intentionally, willfully and repeatedly provided false and misleading responses to plaintiff’s discovery requests regarding issues relevant to the resolution of this case.”
Narconon “repeatedly failed to produce, and on multiple occasions falsely denied the existence of clearly relevant, responsive documents and information,” Hydrick wrote.
As a result, the allegations against Narconon will essentially go unanswered, which will be to the suing parents’ advantage.
“This judicial order is as sharply worded rebuke of a party as one is likely to see in American courts,” said University of Georgia law professor Ron Carlson, calling the sanctions “very uncommon.”
In their suit, the family of Patrick Desmond — who died of a drug overdose four years ago while a patient at Narconon of Georgia — alleges the rehabilitation facility duped them into believing it provided in-patient care even though it lacked the proper license.
Their suit, filed in May 2010, also accuses Narconon of Georgia of lying to Florida’s drug court, which had sentenced Desmond to six months in an in-patient residential facility.
Those accusations will go uncontested during the civil trial, scheduled to begin in mid-February, unless an appeal is granted, Carlson said.
more at http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/judg ... tre/nS2fH/
http://www.dailyreportonline.com/PubArt ... 1008224251
....“There were documents that we asked for in discovery and they… said ‘We don’t have any such documents,’” said the Desmonds’ attorney, Jeff Harris. “We determined later that they do. There clearly were documents that were responsive to the written discovery requests, which you have to respond to under oath, that had never been produced before. We had to find out about them other ways.”
Judge Stacey Hydrick also concluded that Narconon Executive Director Mary Rieser lied in as many as ten depositions when she “repeatedly failed to produce, and on multiple occasions falsely denied the existence of clearly relevant, responsive documents and information.”
Finally, Hydrick concluded that, when she asked Rieser on the stand about the omissions and false declarations, Narconon’s leader was simply not credible in her responses. In other words, she failed to tell the truth.
For all of that, Narconon of Georgia and Mary Rieser will now suffer what civil attorneys commonly call the “death penalty.” They will not be able to respond to the allegations filed by Patrick Desmond’s family alleging Narconon lied to them and the Brevard County drug court, pretended to be an inpatient facility, falsified records, provided negligent care and ultimately caused Patrick Desmond’s deadly overdose.
“This judicial order is as sharply worded a rebuke of a party as one is likely to see in an American court,” said WSB legal expert Ron Carlson. While not unheard of, he called the sanctions very uncommon.
Narconon’s attorneys have a very limited ability to appeal the ruling. Attorneys Barbara Marschalk and Steve Miller said they will ask Judge Hydrick to permit them to pause the Desmond trial so that their appeal can be heard in a higher court. Carlson said that is highly unlikely.
“This is very damaging to the defense,” Carlson noted. “It means the plaintiffs’ case will be heard by the jury uncontested.”
more at http://www.wsbradio.com/news/news/narco ... ase/nS2rW/
By Mark Niesse
A DeKalb County judge has struck the answer of a Church of Scientology-linked drug rehab program that's being sued for the heroin overdose death of a man while he was in treatment.
State Court Judge Stacey Hydrick on Monday issued the heavy sanction on Narconon of Georgia, saying the defendant "provided false, misleading written discovery responses and deposition testimony" in response to requests for evidence about claims that the rehab center ran an unsafe and unlicensed facility.
The punishment means that allegations contained in the complaint will be deemed to be true when the case goes to trial in February, said plaintiffs attorney Jeffrey Harris.
Harris said Narconon's discovery abuse was "so pervasive and so bad."
"I'm confident there remain documents out there that we still haven't gotten," said Harris, of Harris Penn Lowry Delcampo. "Some of them I know are missing because the documents we have talk about them. The documents we do have make it clear that there are other documents that have not been produced."
Hydrick's order noted that she didn't find fault with the conduct of Narconon of Georgia's lawyers, Stevan Miller and Barbara Marschalk of Drew Eckl & Farnham. Instead, the judge blamed their client.
more (3 pages) at Daily Report