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Welch v. Retreat

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 12, 2014

DAVID WELCH, et al., Plaintiff(s),
v.
NARCONON FRESH START d/b/a RAINBOW CANYON RETREAT, et al., Defendant(s)

ORDER

JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

Presently before the court is defendant Narconon Fresh Start d/b/a Rainbow Canyon Retreat's (hereinafter "defendant") motion to dismiss. (Doc. # 32). Plaintiffs David Welch, Stacy Welch, and Jack Welch (hereinafter "plaintiffs") filed a response, (doc. # 38), and defendant filed a reply, (doc. # 41).

I. Background

On or about August 1, 2013, after searching the internet for a rehabilitation facility for her 19-year-old son, Jack, plaintiff Stacy Welch was contacted by an individual who recommended Narconon's Fresh Start facility. (Doc. # 23). Based on statements of Narconon representatives about the program, plaintiffs David and Stacy Welch paid $33, 000 to enroll Jack in Narconon's drug treatment program. (Doc. # 23).

Plaintiffs allege that while attending Narconon's program, Jack was not provided any drug rehabilitation treatment. (Doc. # 23). Instead, they contend that he was forced to practice scientology and undergo a dangerous sauna program without medical supervision. (Doc. # 23). As a result, Jack purportedly suffered from tremors, severe dehydration, headaches, and persistent diarrhea. (Doc. # 23). At one point, he became unable to speak and was taken to the emergency room. (Doc. # 23).

On November 19, 2013, Jack called his parents and communicated that he felt in danger at the Narconon facility. (Doc. # 23). As a result, his father retrieved him from the facility. (Doc. # 23). To date, Jack remains under the care of physicians and a neurologist. (Doc. # 23). He reportedly suffers from anxiety, paranoia, memory problems, and tremors, all as a result of his experience at the Narconon facility. (Doc. # 23).

On July 11, 2014, plaintiffs filed their second amended complaint against defendants Narconon Fresh Start, Association for Better Living and Education International, and Narconon International, alleging (1) breach of contract; (2) fraud; (3) negligence; (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (5) negligent misrepresentation; (6) negligence per se; (7) civil RICO for mail and wire fraud; (8) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (9) civil conspiracy. (Doc. # 23).

Defendant Narconon Fresh Start now moves to dismiss plaintiffs' claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and civil RICO for mail and wire fraud. (Doc. # 32).

II. Legal Standard

A court may dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pleaded complaint must provide "[a] short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it demands "more than labels and conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citation omitted).

"Factual allegations must be enough to rise above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citation omitted).

In Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply when considering motions to dismiss. First, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint; however, legal conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 1950. Mere recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory statements, do not suffice. Id. at 1949.

Second, the court must consider whether the factual allegations in the complaint allege a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 1950. A claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff's complaint alleges facts that allow the court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Id. at 1949.

Where the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has "alleged - but not shown - that the pleader is entitled to relief." Id. (internal quotations omitted). When the allegations in a complaint have not crossed the line from conceivable ...


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