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Burgess: Opposition to NN Int Dismiss

Burgess: Opposition to NN Int Dismiss

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Published by Tony Ortega
Opposition to Narconon International's motion to dismiss in class-action lawsuit
Opposition to Narconon International's motion to dismiss in class-action lawsuit

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Tony Ortega on Jul 25, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/29/2013

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIAATLANTA DIVISIONBENJAMIN BURGESS, RHONDA )BURGESS, HEIDI HOWARD, )JOYCE MARTIN, BETH ) CIVIL ACTION NO.KARAMPELAS, TERRI DACY, )and MICHAEL DACY, individually ) 1:13-cv-02217and on behalf of all others similarly )situated, ))Plaintiffs, ))vs. ))RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY )CENTER, INC., ASSOCIATION )FOR BETTER LIVING AND )EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL, ) NARCONON INTERNATIONAL, and ) NARCONON OF GEORGIA, INC., ))Defendants. ))
PLAINTIFFS’ RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTNARCONON INTERNATIONAL’S MOTION TO DISMISSFOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM
Plaintiffs’ Complaint stems from the Defendants’ false, deceptive, or misleading business practices, which Plaintiffs’ counsel uncovered after filing acase against Defendants Narconon of Georgia and Narconon International(“International”) for the wrongful death of a former Narconon student. That case
Case 1:13-cv-02217-SCJ Document 14 Filed 07/23/13 Page 1 of 28
 
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led to three years of litigation, extensive discovery, and a local news investigation,all spurred by the wrongful conduct of the Defendants. As such, Plaintiffs’ claimsarise from years of research and investigation. Plaintiffs file this response inopposition to Defendant International’s Motion to Dismiss, showing as follows:
I. INTRODUCTION
 Defendant International’s Motion to Dismiss amounts to an attempt toimpermissibly heighten the pleading standards applicable to Plaintiffs’ claims and evade meaningful litigation. Rather than respond to the legitimate, plausibilitystated allegations of Plaintiffs’ Complaint, Defendant International contestsPlaintiffs’ factual allegations and improperly attempts to burden the Plaintiffs withestablishing a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their claims.However, as shown herein, Plaintiffs met the appropriate burden at this stage of litigation, and Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss must be denied.Plaintiffs, Benjamin Burgess, Rhonda Burgess, Heidi Howard, Joyce Martin,Beth Karampelas, Terri Dacy, and Michael Dacy, filed their Complaintindividually and on behalf of the class of others similarly situated, againstDefendants Religious Technology Center, Inc. (“RTC”), Association for Better Living and Education International (“ABLE”), International, and Narconon of Georgia, Inc. (“NNGA”), asserting claims sounding in fraud, contract, quasi-
Case 1:13-cv-02217-SCJ Document 14 Filed 07/23/13 Page 2 of 28
 
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contract, and negligence, as well as Georgia’s Racketeer Influence and CorruptOrganizations (“RICO”) statute, O.C.G.A. § 16-14-1,
et seq.
 Plaintiffs and the proposed class members paid money to one or more of theDefendants to enroll in the Narconon program at NNGA, and to cover costsassociated with books, housing, and related goods and services. (Compl. ¶ 31).The Narconon program was established in 1966 as a drug and alcoholrehabilitation program based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, a science-fictionwriter and the founder of the Church of Scientology. (
 Id.
38). Narconon’streatment for drug and alcohol addicts is based exclusively on Hubbard’s writings,also known as “technology” or “tech.” (
 Id.
¶ 41). Narconon’s proponents believethat strict adherence to the Hubbard technology alone will completely address therehabilitation needs of its patients. (
 Id.
¶ 46). Therefore, patients receive nocounseling or education in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and the therapeuticdiscussion of drugs and their effects is actually discouraged. (
 Id.
).Defendant International owns, licenses, operates, and otherwise directs drugand alcohol rehabilitation services at Narconon centers, including NNGA. (
 Id.
  ¶ 38). As the parent/licensor of Defendant NNGA, Defendant Internationalexercises direct control over the time, manner, and method of NNGA’s operations.(
 Id.
¶ 27). Defendant International, in turn, is controlled by Defendant ABLE, an
Case 1:13-cv-02217-SCJ Document 14 Filed 07/23/13 Page 3 of 28

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