Author Topic: The Desmond Family v. Narconon of Georgia, Narconon International, et al  (Read 227019 times)

Offline Mary_McConnell

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TYD is probably a clerk's initials. Good to see the motion granted.

Thanks, mefree :)

  2/04/2013

  The Desmond family vs Narconon of Georgia,Narconon International, et al Pre-trial hearing.

  Defendant Narconon International asked for a continuance. Motion denied. Narconon International asked to be severed from the current case and requested a separate trial. Motion denied.

  Jury selection will begin on monday February 11th at 9:00 A.M. Media to pool. One camera allowed in the courtroom.

Yippee!! Thank you ST!!
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Offline ethercat

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I have some notes I took too, but it will be tomorrow before I can make a post about it.  My, my, how those NN lawyers do go on.  And on.  And on...  It was 6:30pm or later before it was over today!
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Offline snippy

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Y'all, thanks for keeping an eye on these guys.   J-:B

ooo}

Offline SocialTransparency

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 Though I took copious note, 17+ pages actually, I feel EC has far more eloquent writing skills than I do. Ergo, I will wait until that time in order to go more in-depth with my take on what happened during this pre trial hearing. Then I will add to the discussion.

 Here are some small tidbits I feel I can touch on.

 Most of the recent motions filed by the defendants counsel that I personally deemed as important on the plaintiffs behalf were denied by the judge. Meaning the expert testimony of DR. Kent and Dr. Blank. Their testimony will go forward as will Dr. Rushing.

 Scientology can be referenced before the jury as deemed by the judge in a fashion that is fair to all sides involved as that topic is relevant to the case. A large segment of time was allotted to NNInt defense counsel in its attempt for a continuance and or separate trial.

 From my observations as a non legal expert,I have never seen a legal team (NNInt) so unprepared for a case that IS starting on monday of next week. It seemed they were hedging bets that the judge would allow a continuance or separate trial. That in of itself floored this poster. Reason I say this revealed itself later in the pre trial hearing. NNInt claims to have more than 5 expert witnesses,Yet were not able to either name them or tell the judge what type of professional credentials they had.

 It appeared the NNInt counsel was sandbagging the court.

 This to my understand is a very big issue per the discovery process as counsel for the plaintiff never knew of these experts and never had the opportunity to depose. Then there is the matter of a list of 10 potential former NN of GA ? Witnesses that could be called. Once again from the way I interpret it,counsel for the plaintiff was not made aware of these individuals,whom they are and ergo unable to depose.

 Do understand that sanctions placed on Narconon of Georgia pretty much muzzles any form of defense. N of G,s horse in this race fell by the wayside with those sanctions being deemed appropriate.

 NNInt will now reap what was sown by N of GA. IMHO both parties will be shown to be inseparable and equal in culpability.

 Some things that surprised me. Involuntary manslaughter, Influencing of witnesses, Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud and Racketeering were mentioned. Insurance fraud was mentioned,yet this was due to recent news reports. That particular alleged insurance fraud event is not party to this case.

 Thats about it on my end for the moment. Once EC gives her feedback, I'll add more as I glean more for my notes.

 Oh, there was a $950,000.00 and $50,000.00 settlement tendered from the defense side. I do not know from whom or why. It was not accepted by plaintiff,s counsel.

Quote
Correction on my part

 These names were mentioned as expert witnesses for the defense. The spelling may not be correct therefore I make no claims as to the accuracy of the spelling of or who these individuals may or may not be.

 Dr. David Root

 Dr. Addie. Spelling?

 Dr. Sternquist. Spelling?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 12:00 by SocialTransparency »

Offline BigBeard

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$950,000.00 + $50,000.0 = $1,000,000.00 settlement offer tells me they are indeed scared out of their shorts on this one.

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Offline CoolHand

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Thanks ST.  Dr. David Root is on the Narconon International Science Advisory Board and wrote an intro to a special edition of Clear Body, Clear Mind for Narcnon.  Dr. Rohit Adi is the medical director at Narconon Louisiana and is a Scientologist.  I'm not sure about the other one - probably a medical director for another Narconon center or something.

As for the settlement offer, that was more like an insult.  This case has been going on for years and that probably wouldn't even cover the attorney's expenses I bet.

Offline BMF

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NN Int....uh, we want a separate trial, but will offer this settlement too just in case.  They know they are screwed.  Good job Jeff and team for not taking the easy road.
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Offline Mary_McConnell

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NN Int....uh, we want a separate trial, but will offer this settlement too just in case.  They know they are screwed.  Good job Jeff and team for not taking the easy road.

BTW, NN of Georgia offered the settlement, not NN Int. Ethercat has more details and notes on this and the hearing, as well.
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Offline ethercat

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Ok, I've got some more to write up soon, but I think the $950,000/$50,000 thing needs some clarification first, so I'll go ahead and post this.

When is a settlement not a settlement?  When it's a high-low agreement.

The way this $950,000 payment works is this.

Narconon of Georgia has no money themselves, they don't own the building they occupy, they're about to be shut down by DCH, the "resigned" Executive Director Mary Rieser will probably be going to jail once the insurance fraud investigation is over (possibly along with her other Narconon of Georgia Executive buddies, the CFO and the Secretary), and if not, Davey has a place for her (them?) to go.  Not a lot of chance there for future income from which to extract payment for a judgement.  However, they do have insurance with Western World Insurance, which, thus far, has not gotten a declaratory judgment to avoid paying out on their client, Narconon of Georgia.

Narconon of Georgia has also lost their ability to defend themselves against the Initial Complaint, and the only thing left for them to defend is the Amended Complaint, the RICO claims.  However, they are still an important part of the case, strategically speaking, for the Plaintiffs' side.  If they were allowed to remove themselves from the case entirely, Narconon International would be able to finger point at Narconon of Georgia in front of the jury, convince the jury that it was all their fault, and Narconon of Georgia wouldn't be there to defend themselves against that finger pointing.  So it helps the Plaintiffs to have them still involved in the case.

Narconon of Georgia (through their lawyers) has made an agreement to pay $950,000 of their $1,000,000 insurance coverage to the Plaintiffs, regardless of the jury's decision, but they will still take part in the trial.  If the jury finds for the Plaintiffs, Narconon of Georgia will be required to turn over the remaining $50,000 to the Plaintiffs.  If the jury finds for Narconon of Georgia (regardless of what they find with Narconon International), Narconon of Georgia will not pay the remaining $50,000, and presumably Western World Insurance will keep that (or include it as part of the payment to Drew, Eckl, and Farnham for Barbara Marschalk and Stevan Miller's work, and for Kate Whitlock's fine work in the early days, which was actually what got the first sanctions against Narconon of Georgia (that Mary Rieser would be deposed a second time at the defendant's expense).   

This also has the added benefits of 1: Narconon of Georgia will not be able to make an appeal if the verdict goes against them; and 2: the money will be collected from the insurance company without the problems Lawrence Wollersheim had when he won his case.  3: I could be wrong, but I believe this agreement does not include a gag order for the Desmonds, should they ever want to talk about this again (but after all this is over, I wouldn't blame them if they didn't).

So, when is a settlement not a settlement?  When it's a high-low agreement.  This link explains it:
How High-Low Agreements Work in a Malpractice Case

Ok, technically it's a type of settlement, but just not the type we're accustomed to hearing about.

More about the hearing to come soon.
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Offline mefree

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Thanks for the clarification, EC. 

By the way, just saw this on the case docket: PLTFS MOTION TO STRIKE THE UNTIMELY DAUGBERT MOTIONS FILED BY DEFS ON DRS KENT, BLANK AND RUSHING

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daubert_standard#Daubert_motion:_timing

More:

AADINO - PLTF'S CONSOLIDATED MOTIONS IN LIMINE     Yes
 NOTICE OF FILING     05-FEB-2013     AADINO - PLTFS NOTICE OF FILING ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPT OF ISAAC ZRIHEN     Yes
 NOTICE OF DEPOSITION     05-FEB-2013     AADINO - OF ISAAC ZRIHEN     No
 NOTICE OF DEPOSITION     05-FEB-2013     AADINO - OF JULIE DAILY     Yes
 NOTICE     05-FEB-2013     AADINO - PLTFS O C G A NOTICE OF INTENT TO INTRODUCE RECORDS AT TRIAL

Isaac Zrihen also mentioned here: http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,8408.msg26192.html#msg26192
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 21:10 by mefree »
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Offline Mary_McConnell

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That agreement, I suspect, is contingent on Western World not prevailing in their federal lawsuit against all parties, claiming they are not legally obligated to pay on a claim against this policy, for this case, because Patrick did not die at the Narconon facility and the housing was not covered by NN Georgia's policy.

http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,11114.0.html
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline Witnessman

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That agreement, I suspect, is contingent on Western World not prevailing in their federal lawsuit against all parties, claiming they are not legally obligated to pay on a claim against this policy, for this case, because Patrick did not die at the Narconon facility and the housing was not covered by NN Georgia's policy.

http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,11114.0.html

Nope.  It was being discussed at the hearing as the basis of whatever crap NNINT was trying to argue.  So, it is a done deal, in place, signed and sealed.  And not contingent on the federal case, which will likely just go away now.

Offline SocialTransparency

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That agreement, I suspect, is contingent on Western World not prevailing in their federal lawsuit against all parties, claiming they are not legally obligated to pay on a claim against this policy, for this case, because Patrick did not die at the Narconon facility and the housing was not covered by NN Georgia's policy.

http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,11114.0.html

Nope.  It was being discussed at the hearing as the basis of whatever crap NNINT was trying to argue.  So, it is a done deal, in place, signed and sealed.  And not contingent on the federal case, which will likely just go away now.

Says the man to my left. ;)

Offline Mary_McConnell

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That agreement, I suspect, is contingent on Western World not prevailing in their federal lawsuit against all parties, claiming they are not legally obligated to pay on a claim against this policy, for this case, because Patrick did not die at the Narconon facility and the housing was not covered by NN Georgia's policy.

http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,11114.0.html

Nope.  It was being discussed at the hearing as the basis of whatever crap NNINT was trying to argue.  So, it is a done deal, in place, signed and sealed.  And not contingent on the federal case, which will likely just go away now.

I said I suspected.

NN Int has nothing to do with any settlement of NN GA's with the plaintiff. NN Int only has a connection to the insurance company because they  and all the others ( plaintiffs and defendents ) being sued by it in federal court, denying they have to pay at all on Patrick's death.

NN Int was trying to separate itself from having their trial held together with  NN GA. NN Ga, having no money, and knowing that they would lostthe first claims of the case ( original complaint because the judge ruled on their defense being thrown out,) only has the potential to pay that settlement from Western World insurance proceeds.

NN GA already had a stipulated agreement with the plaintiffs on that money before that hearing, the full details of which were not all disclosed at that hearing. The money is to come from insurance proceeds. If Western World Insurance wins their federal case, then NN Ga has no money to pay that settlement amount.  I can tell you that NN Int has nothing to do with that settlement between the Plaintiffs and NN GA.

And that I suspect that the plaintiff / NNGA stipulated the agreement would be moot if Western World were to win it's case that they are not liable to pay out on NN GA's  insurance policy.

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Offline ethercat

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That agreement, I suspect, is contingent on Western World not prevailing in their federal lawsuit against all parties, claiming they are not legally obligated to pay on a claim against this policy, for this case, because Patrick did not die at the Narconon facility and the housing was not covered by NN Georgia's policy.

http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,11114.0.html

I believe I heard them say in court that the $950,000 had already been turned over, but I could be wrong; they may have been referring to the signed papers. 

When Lisa Robbins was let out of the case, the check was delivered right there in the courtroom by her attorney, and papers were signed and filed then that it was satisfied.  That was at the July hearing.  I couldn't imagine Jeff would trust NN Ga more than he would Lisa Robbins. 
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Offline ethercat

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NN Int only has a connection to the insurance company because they  and all the others ( plaintiffs and defendents ) being sued by it in federal court, denying they have to pay at all on Patrick's death.

The Western World Initial Complaint, on page 10, says:
Quote
28.
Western World issued Commercial Lines Policy No. NPP1123556 to Narconon of Georgia (“the Western World Policy”), effective August 19, 2007 to August 19, 2008. A true and correct copy of the Western World Policy is attached hereto as Exhibit “B”.
29.
By endorsement to the Western World Policy, Narconon International is listed as an additional insured.
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Offline SocialTransparency

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 Going through my pre trial notes from 2/04/2013 now. This may clear up some misconceptions in regard to the $950,000.00 and $50,000.00 that is if I am interpreting my notes correctly.

Quote
N of G would pay out willingly per confession of judgement.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confession_of_judgment

Also taken from my notes.

 
Quote
On friday Feb 1 another person contacts Plaintiff's attorney Mr. Harris about her experience with Narconon of Georgia back in 2007. Apparently a judge orders this family members daughter directly to Narconon of Georgia dependent on Narconon of Georgia,s residential treatment program. As this topic was discussed faster than my brain could put words to paper,it appears this may have been a judge within the state of GA.

Quote
6 Attorney,s were seated at the defenses table. 3 attorney,s seated at the plaintiff,s.

Quote
Withdrawal of Ins claim by Harris. Appears it will not be needed or an issue in presenting his case ( Predicate Act mentioned during this withdrawal)

http://www.supremelaw.org/copyrite/predicate.acts.htm

http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/predicate-act/


DEF NARCONON INTERNATIONAL'S MOTION TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY OF DR SUSAN BLANK----No ruling as of 2/04/2013

DEF NARCONON INTERNATIONAL'S MOTION TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY OF DR STEPHEN KENT----DENIED

DEF'S NARDONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE THE TESTIMONY OF FRANCIS W RUSHING (they're so nervous about this one they filed it multiple times)----DENIED

DEF'S NARDONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY OF PLTFS EXPERTS----DENIED

DEF'S NARDONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE RUMORS REGARDING THE NIGHT OF PATRICK W DESMOND'S DEATH

DEF'S NARDONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF INSURANCE BILLING PRACTICES

DEF'S NARDONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY FROM WITNESSES OR ARGUMENT FROM PLTF'S COUNSEL THAT THE DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC COULD HAVE
HAD PATRICK DESMOND DETAINED OR ARRESTED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION

DEF'S NARDONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF HYPOTHETICAL ACTIONS BY THE DEKALB COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT

DEF'S NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO PROHIBIT COUNSEL FROM MENTIONING PRE-TRIAL DISCOVERY DISPUTES

DEF'S NARDONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY OR ARGUMENT EXCUSING PATRICK W DESMOND'S CONDUCT DUE TO INTOXICATION

DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE ITS CONDUCT AND/OR REPRESENTATIONS TO PLTFS AFTER PATRICK DESMOND 'S DEATH

DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE ON MULTIPLE GROUNDS

DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY OR ARGUMENT REGARDING FAILURE TO RESTRAIN PATRICK W DESMOND

DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE ALL PROMOTIONAL, MARKETING AND ADVERTISING MATERIALS NOT SPECIFICALLY RELIED UPON BY PATRICK W DESMOND OR PLTFS----DENIED

DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE REFERENCES TO THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY----DENIED

DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF DEATHS, INCIDENTS, OR CLAIMS INVOLVING OTHER NARCONON CENTERS

DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF OPERATIONS AT ANOTHER NARCONON CENTERS----Ruling withheld

DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE POST-INCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS BY DEF

DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE UNRELATED KNOWLEGE REPORTS AND REPORTS OF PROBLEMS WITH STUDENTS

DEF NARCONON OF GEORGIA INC'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE IRRELEVANT DHR CITATION----Denied with exception of unsubstantiated citations

Quote
Several of the above Motions were as of 2/04/2013 being reviewed by the judge. Several were partly granted and or partly denied
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 10:59 by SocialTransparency »

Offline Mary_McConnell

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That agreement, I suspect, is contingent on Western World not prevailing in their federal lawsuit against all parties, claiming they are not legally obligated to pay on a claim against this policy, for this case, because Patrick did not die at the Narconon facility and the housing was not covered by NN Georgia's policy.

http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,11114.0.html

I believe I heard them say in court that the $950,000 had already been turned over, but I could be wrong; they may have been referring to the signed papers. 

When Lisa Robbins was let out of the case, the check was delivered right there in the courtroom by her attorney, and papers were signed and filed then that it was satisfied.  That was at the July hearing.  I couldn't imagine Jeff would trust NN Ga more than he would Lisa Robbins.

NN Int only has a connection to the insurance company because they  and all the others ( plaintiffs and defendents ) being sued by it in federal court, denying they have to pay at all on Patrick's death.

The Western World Initial Complaint, on page 10, says:
Quote
28.
Western World issued Commercial Lines Policy No. NPP1123556 to Narconon of Georgia (“the Western World Policy”), effective August 19, 2007 to August 19, 2008. A true and correct copy of the Western World Policy is attached hereto as Exhibit “B”.
29.
By endorsement to the Western World Policy, Narconon International is listed as an additional insured.


OK,  so NN int is also covered up to $1 million on that policy as well by endorsement....
http://businessinsure.about.com/od/glossaryofinsuranceterms/g/endorsement.htm

BUT the settlement was with Narconon of GA only. It was to come from insurance, right? Which would mean that Western World is not contesting coverage? Because why would they pay on a claim they are still fighting in court, saying the death was not covered?
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Offline BigBeard

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 ??? I'm so confused!  ???
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Offline ethercat

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OK,  so NN int is also covered up to $1 million on that policy as well by endorsement....
http://businessinsure.about.com/od/glossaryofinsuranceterms/g/endorsement.htm

BUT the settlement was with Narconon of GA only. It was to come from insurance, right?

Correct.

Quote
Which would mean that Western World is not contesting coverage? Because why would they pay on a claim they are still fighting in court, saying the death was not covered?

I can't answer for WW because I just don't know, other than the docs over in that thread, and I don't think I've even read all of them.  My guesses: There's always a chance they could be denied the declaratory judgment, they may think it's less expensive to pay than to fight paying, or they may be legally bound to pay things up until they get the declaratory judgment.  Or it could be other stuff I'm not thinking of. 

I did see in one of the later WW docs that WW is trying to get NN Int's other insurance provider to pay the bulk of their costs, that Non-profit insurance company based in California, I think, but I don't remember the complete name right now ( (NCIA or something like that, I think, you can check in the WW docs for it).

Edit: It's NPIA, Non-Profits Insurance Alliance.

??? I'm so confused!  ???

It is all very confusing, I know, but I'm working on more synopsis/analysis, so maybe that will help.  If not, I can entertain questions after that.   :)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 14:08 by ethercat »
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