Law Suit against the WBTS

by God_Delusion 11 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • God_Delusion

    I am sure this has been brought up in a thread before, but I wanted to know if anyone had successfully won a legal battle against the WBTS? For example, I have read that some of you knew ones that died because they declined having an organ transplant. Someone surely must have at least tried to sue, right?


  • AudeSapere

    The pedophilia settlements from 2 years ago were a pretty good example.


  • blondie

    Don't forget Olin Moyle:

  • recovering

    here is one and there are more

    In 1940, Moyle sued the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York over the response in The Watchtower. Rutherford presented a public resolution at a 1941 convention against Moyle, with reference to the September 15, 1941 issue of The Watchtower. [ 13 ] Moyle won his suit, and the court awarded him $30,000 in damages, which was reduced to $15,000 on appeal in 1944. [ 14 ]

    The initial jury verdict was affirmed twice on appeal; first by the five member Appellate Division, 2nd Department (3-2); and second, unanimously, by the seven members of the state's highest court, The Court of Appeals, in the capitol at Albany. [ 15 ]

  • wobble

    I think in the past that some have got the impression that the WBTS is cast-iron supported in law, and cannot be sued successfully because they have those "clever lawyers" working for them (for free mostly)

    The truth of the matter is , they skate along on a wing and a prayer (to Satan) and just about get away with a lot of doubtful stuff, because they are a religion.

    That is more successful in the U.S.A because of your history and the number of people who actually believe in some sort of religion in your country.

    Elsewhere in the world the WBTS is finding it more difficult to pull the same tricks, thank goodness.

    I think they will find that going to the Courts will be a very problematic thing for them in the future, see how they are havig problems in Russia, and elsewhere.

    If anyone is threatened with DF'ing or similar, and you don't want it to happen, just go legal and watch the buggers run.



  • recovering

    Usually if there is any chance of loosing a case the WTBS settles out of court so that no precident is set. ie sex abuse settlements (they also make sure there is a nondisclosure clause)

    Here is a case that they settled (not an abuse case, also no nondisclosure clause)

    The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, which is the umbrella organization over 6 million Witnesses worldwide, paid the estate of Frances Coughlin $1.55 million dollars rather than let a jury decide the wrongful death lawsuit.

    Frances Coughlin's surviving family sued Jehovah's Witnesses, also known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, in State of Connecticut Superior Court at Milford (CV-00-0072183 S).

    The principle defendant was a "Bethelite," or full-time ministry worker, who drove recklessly in bad weather and killed Ms. Coughlin, a mother and grandmother, on October 8, 1998.

    That Bethelite Jordon Johnson was traveling between "Bethel," which has housing for its full-time workers in Patison, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York, to a Witness Kingdom Hall he was assigned to in Derby, Connecticut.

    Johnson was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter, but only served 30 days in jail and was sentenced to two years probation. Subsequently, he and Jehovah's Witnesses faced a civil suit filed by Ms. Coughlin's surviving family for damages.

    Why was the Witness organization willing to pay more than $1.5 million dollars?

    Apparently because a much larger issue of "agency" was at stake.

    Agency is the word used to express a relationship between a principal party and its agent, through which the principal party projects its power and/or advances some purpose. And a principal party may be held liable for the actions of its agent.

    Jehovah's Witnesses contended that Jordan Johnson acted on his own and was not their agent at the time he caused the fatal car wreck.

    But plaintiff's counsel, Joel Faxon of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, claimed on his client's behalf that Jordan Johnson was serving as a Bethelite and agent of the organization at the time and advancing their purpose, therefore Jehovah's Witnesses was responsible for his actions.

    Internal documents were obtained through the discovery process and testimony was given through depositions, which clarified and substantiated Faxon's view.

    I was retained as an expert witness and consultant for this case by the plaintiff's counsel.

    My role was to assist in the discovery process, provide research and generally help to form a basis for an understanding of how Jehovah's Witnesses employ, use and control Bethelites and others within their organization. Ultimately, I would have also testified as an expert in court.

    That testimony would have included explaining in clear terms how the organizational dynamics, indoctrination and objectives of Jehovah's Witnesses impact individual members and more specifically full-time workers such as Bethelite Jordan Johnson.

    But on the first day of trial Jehovah's Witnesses decided they didn't want a jury to decide this case and instead $1.55 million was paid to the plaintiff.

    The organization that claims it is waiting for the ever-eminent "end of the world" decided to settle in a pragmatic move to protect its long-term interests and more than $1 billion dollars of accumulated assets.

  • God_Delusion

    That's some great stuff guys.

    I've created a blog ( and was wondering whether I have your consent in using some of your above posts in an article that I want to publish next week?


  • Gayle

    My brother, Bill Minette, was in the pre-trial part of that. He had to speak of how the role is of a Bethelite with the WTS. It is wonderful the WTS lost the case and paid that poor family a sizable settlement.

  • No Apologies
    No Apologies

    Ok, read the posts above yours, they didn't lose the case, they settled out of court. There's a big difference.

    No Apologies

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Hi Recovering!

    Hats of to you! Some of us old-timers here knew about the case and the settlement but few other details. Your contribution is valuable.

    It appears that silence was one of the terms of the settlement. Some of us tried to reach Joel Faxon but never received a reply from him.

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