I know that this is old but going through and posting about every lawsuit that I can find in this decade with Watchtower either good or bad if it has not already been posted.
This lawsuit was brought in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisana. It involves a family whose mother had died at a District Convention in 2011. The mother, Patsy, was descending stairs at the convention which was held at the MItchell Center in Mobile, Alabama when she fell and was fatally injured.
The family brought the wrongful death lawsuit against the insurance company for the Mitchell Center which is the Integro USA and Old Republican Insurane Company, Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York. All three defendants filed a motion for summary judgment against the lawsuit. The Insurance company and CCJW had 4 arguments for dismissing the case.
First was that Patsy chose to go to the upper level and that contributed to her injury and that if she was too weak to go to the second level that she should not have chosen to go to that level. Second, that the stairs and gaps were open and obvious and that a reasonable person would have taken additional safety precautions as they walked up and down the stairs due to the obvious issues with the stairs. Third, was that the only obligation was to avoid any new and/or hidden dangers to the person using the equipment. Fourth that the case should be heard in Alabama and not in a federal court in Louisana.
The court ruled that the first three could not be resolved because the plaintiff still had some depositions to conduct and that the Rules of Federal Procedures requires that all Plaintiff depositions must be conducted before a motion for a summary judgment can be granted. The fourth issue the court ruled that the federal court can hear the case based on the diversity citizenship issues because the parties reside in different states.
Watchtower filed a motion for summary judgment based on the fact that they don't have any dealings with the conventions and cannot be held liable for anything done at the conventions. They supplied affidavits that in 2001 all dealings with District Conventions were taken over by CCJW and that at least since 2011 Watchtower no longer listed dates and locations of District Conventions in any of their publications. The court ruled that Watchtower did not have any dealings with the District Convention and could not be held liable for any actions that occurred at such an event, so it Watchtower was granted their motion.