Rehab center settles with patient's family after death

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A local drug rehab facility facing numerous complaints has now settled out of court with the family of a man who died while enrolled there.

Narconon of Georgia has been the subject of several Channel 2 investigations. The center was scheduled for a civil trial Monday over the death of Patrick Desmond, but it settled instead. Narconon officials would only say the matter has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.

The former Marine died at 28 years old, losing a battle against alcoholism. His family said patients were supposed to be monitored 24 hours a day, but they found out Desmond was drinking and doing drugs with students and staff. His family sued after he died in 2008.

"The doctor said his alcohol content was very high. Patrick experimented that night for the first time with heroin," his mother said.

Court documents exposed serious questions about the program misrepresenting itself to patients, courts and state inspectors.
Attorneys for the Desmond family are not allowed to say how much Narconon paid in the settlement, but said they plan to file additional cases on behalf of other clients.
Narconon of Georgia is currently appealing a state decision to revoke its license. The state insurance commissioner has also launched a criminal investigation into possible insurance fraud.