Has anyone ever sued the Watchtower for loss of inheritance ..... and won?

by hubert 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • hubert

    Well, that's the question. My wife came up with this one, without really knowing the impact it had on me.

    I've heard a few discussions on this, but never heard anything solid about it.

    Is there a way we can find out?

    And how many cases?


  • badboy


  • hubert

    BadBoy, Do you know for sure? Is this documented anywhere?


  • outoftheorg

    I don't have any documentation on this subject. But I do recall a few incidents where the wbts did refund money left to them by a will and they did use the action as a way to prove how kind and caring they are.

    I do not recall if it was preached, hearsay or in print. It would be interesting if some one on this forum could search their archive and let you know.


  • Alpheta

    That's an interesting question to which, unfortunately, I don't think there is an easy answer.

    I'm not up on the latest research resources available to legal eagles, but my guess is that unless you have a subscription to say Westlaw or Lexis, you would have to try a state-by-state search of available FREE court databases (state courts and federal courts), trying seaches under various parameters such as "Watchtower" and perhaps restricting it to "probate" cases - and see what came up on each database.

    One thing - I would assume that in any case of this type where the WTBTS entered into a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs, they would invoke a confidentiality clause, so it might very well be that the court docket (record of proceedings in the case) only shows that the case was either "settled" or even, perhaps "dismissed" - and particulars of the settlement would be unavailable.

  • 144001

    If such cases exist, they will be very difficult to find.

    Trial court opinions are not available on Lexis Nexis or Westlaw. So unless one of these cases has been appealled, you won't find it there. Furthermore, Alpheta's point is well taken. If a case of a plaintiff suing the Watchtower for loss of inheritance has substantial merit or is otherwise able to survive demurrer, it is very likely that the Watchtower would settle with such a plaintiff, and most settlement agreements do contain confidentiality provisions. Accordingly, such cases will be extremely difficult to find on-line.

    Having said all that, there is another way to find information of this nature, and it appears that this thread is the frst step in that process. Anyone who is aware of any case of this nature that actually went to trial should respond to this thread. Once the essential detials of the case are known (i.e., case number, court, appx. date of decision and party's names), the case documents can be retrieved and examined.

  • stealyourface

    The above links to an Ohio Supreme Court decision against a pettitioner who claims their relative was coerced into making the Watchtower their beneficiary. I couldn't find any other probate suits regarding inheritances and WT beneficiaries.

  • truthsetsonefree

    They will at times give the one contesting the will money. They do NOT want these cases to go to court as they know that they stand a good chance of losing. I know of at least one such case where they awarded several thousand dollars.

  • johnny cip
    johnny cip

    there was a case on the net about 5 years ago about some millionaire whose wife became a jw; got devorced or he died and the wt was gifted mi9llions and the family of the father fought it. as i recall it was big $$$$$$$$$ and it was like 100 pages long with all the court cases. wtg VS> THESE NON JW'S AND THER MOTHER A JW. NOT SURE IT WAS TRUE. BUT I REMEMBER READING IT FOR WEEKS. SOMEONE HERE HAS TO REMEMBER THIS . were's nathan when you need him.

  • Fangorn

    I believe there was a case in Iowa recently, the guy changed his will and left everything, or nearly everything to the local congregation. It was contested and they lost.

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