Another trial ordered against Narconon as Scientology derail attempt mostly fails - 2015-09-10
On August 28, we told you that Indianapolis attorney Jonathan Little and his firm had scored an interesting victory against Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon. San Francisco federal district judge Edward M. Chen called for a trial in a class-action lawsuit that Little and others had filed on behalf of former patients of Narconon centers in California.
Chen ordered the trial in a preliminary matter in the class-action suit, and we remarked on how unusual it is that any lawsuit filed against the Church of Scientology or one of its front groups gets to any kind of trial. In fact, we couldn't think of a jury trial taking place since the major lawsuits of the 1980s in Oregon and California. (We're not counting the criminal trials against Rex Fowler and Reed Slatkin, which were only tangentially about Scientology.) So the prospect of a jury hearing serious allegations against Narconon in the California class-action — that patients were taken by rehab employees to their dealers to get high before being admitted — seemed like a pretty significant development to us, even if it may be a year or more before the trial actually happens.
And now, Little's firm has done it again. State circuit judge Sarah S. Lincoln in Battle Creek, Michigan (pictured) has ordered trial in a lawsuit filed by a woman named Candice Tyler. In her finding, Judge Lincoln knocked down, in part, a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants. The Scientology rehab — Narconon Freedom Center in Albion, Michigan — and its Scientology-run umbrella group — Narconon Eastern United States (NEUS) — have been ordered to stand trial. But it's not all bad news for Scientology. Two other defendants — Narconon International (NI) and the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) — were each dismissed as defendants.