The plaintiff in this case alleges breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and consumer fraud. Despite promises to the contrary, Narconon Freedom Center failed to acquire preauthorization for the client's stay or to provide a physical exam. Other complaints include deceptive advertising and false representations about the program's success rates.
Association of Better Living and Education (ABLE)
Address: 7065 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Registered agent: Sherman D. Lenske, 6400 Canoga Avenue, Suite 315, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
The plaintiff in this case alleges that she found Narconon New Life Retreat (Narconon NLR) through an internet search that turned up www.non12-steprehabs.org. There she found a 1-800# and got connected to Lance at a fake referral service. Lance described himself as an 'independent' volunteer drug counselor and referred the plaintiff to Jeff Gordon at Narconon NLR.The usual bait and switch ensued. Plaintiff alleges she was promised a 76% success rate and extensive addiction counseling for her son. Instead, she claims, her son received Scientology doctrine and practices for which she paid $27,000. Note: NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal by Jeannette McHenry (Pendley, Patrick) (Entered: 03/11/2015)
The plaintiffs allege multiple material misrepresentations, civil conspiracy, consumer fraud, breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith/fair dealing, and more. Dianna Nardella specifically claims she was promised grief counseling for her son who was the lone survivor of a car accident in which three of his friends were killed. Narconon Fresh Start has admitted in previous lawsuits that the Narconon program does not include counseling.
In this case, the plaintiff's allege, breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, among other claims. According to the Prevec family, Narconon Freedom Center's intake counselor, Donald Michalski, assured them of the program's 70% success rate. Janette Prevec was urged to make payment of $25,000 to NFC for her daughter's treatment by taking out two credit cards. Michalski assured Mrs. Prevec that she could pay off the cards when her health insurance reimbursed her for the entire cost of the program. After arriving at the center, plaintiffs met with Michalski and noticed some L. Ron Hubbard literature. When asked if the Narconon program was affiliated with Scientology, Michalski denied the connection. Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that Lauren Prevec was placed in detox without a medical assessment where her antidepressant was completely discontinued.
The plaintiff in this case (Lucy Guidotti) found the website www.gulfcoastdrugrehab.com while conducting an internet search for an alcohol and drug rehab. She alleges this website was for Defendant Narconon Gulf Coast Rehab, although the website advertised the facility only as “Gulf Coast Addiction Treatment” and made no mention of Narconon. The website advertised a 90% success rate, a sauna program that reduced or eliminated drug cravings, individualized treatment, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Lucy called the number listed on the website and spoke to Deborah Ross who reiterated what was advertised on the website, but added that the facility had highly trained psychiatric specialists, a cure for panic attacks, and medical supervision at all times. Lucy paid $40,000 and entered treatment at Narconon Gulf Coast. After starting the program, Lucy claims she saw no highly trained psychiatric specialists, received no continuous medical supervision or cognitive behavioral therapy, and her panic attacks worsened. In fact, she left the program due to medical problems experienced during the sauna portion of the program. The plaintiff makes claims for relief under Civil RICO for Mail and Wire Fraud, Breach of Oral Contract, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Misleading Advertising, Negligence, and Unjust Enrichment.
Through a 1-800 referral number, plaintiff Ken E. Vairo was recommended Narconon as a drug treatment program with the highest success rate for his son, Ken, Jr. Ken, Sr. was put in contact with Dan Carmichael who made several false representations about the success rate, benefits of the sauna and extensive addiction counseling provided by certified and licensed professionals, including medical personnel, he claims. Mr. Vairo paid $31,000 for the Narconon program, but alleges his son received no counseling for his addiction. Instead, he claims, his son was given scientology training routines and no medical oversight. The plaintiffs make claims for damages under federal wiretap violations, breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent concealment, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent misrepresentation, claims under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, unjust enrichment and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
In January 2014, while searching for a rehabilitation facility for her daughter, Deanna Tetreau of Michigan came across a website that purported to be an independent referral service which was not independent from Narconon at all. From there, she was referred to a Narconon Fresh Start representative named Josh Penn, infamous now for making representations that the Narconon program provided drug counseling under the supervision of medical professionals, and that it was a scientifically proven method resulting in a success rate of over 70%. Plaintiffs signed the contract, paid for their Warner Springs location program called Sunshine Summit Lodge where Deanna's daughter Jennifer Henning began 'treatment' only to find that there was no counseling, only Scientology training. She was unable to complete the sauna component due to high doses Niacin triggering pancreatitis which the facility neglected to provide appropriate can and supervision of. The causes of action in this case are: Breach of Contract; Negligence; Fraud; Negligent Misrepresentation; Violations of non-competition law , violation of federal wiretapping, law among others.
Fresh Start representative Dan Carmichael made the usual false representations to the Plaintiffs (76% success rate, licensed medical care at the facility, the program is secular, and the sauna detox scientifically proven and effective for eliminating drug cravings) and also recommended that Plaintiffs employ Kevin Ray d/b/a Second Wind Intervention as an interventionist. This complaint goes into detail about the use of telephone scripts which are used with callers, in order to manipulate callers into enrolling their loved one in Fresh Start. It also goes into detail about how phone calls are recorded without the caller's knowledge, and used as "a means of teaching the high pressure and deceptive sales techniques Fresh Start uses."
After speaking with Nick Morrill, a Narconon Fresh Start staff member, and being assured that the program was completely secular and had nothing to do whatsoever with Scientology, Plaintiffs enrolled their daughter in Fresh Start's Caliente, Nevada facility. Plaintiffs received received a phone call from Fresh Start’s in-house legal counsel, Bruce Haddrill, who informed them that a Fresh Start staff member had engaged in sexual relations with their daughter during the withdrawal phase at the beginning of her treatment program approximately two months earlier, and that their daughter was being expelled from the program (the lawsuit does not mention any punishment for the staff member, or whether he was fired). Later he emailed them and told them that Fresh Start had decided the daughter could stay and she was moved to the Sunshine Summit Lodge facility in Warner Springs, California. However, Plaintiffs decided to remove her, and send her to an all-female treatment center. While arrangements were being made, a Fresh Start intern engaged in sexual relations with her. These two sexual encounters with staff at Fresh Start impeded the daughter in her attempts to recover from drug addiction, and caused her emotional distress and embarrassment.
The plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, claims under the California Unfair Competition Act (related to false advertising) and seek damages for federal wiretap violations.