Three new lawsuits against Watchtower filed under NY Child Victims Act (CVA) this October, bringing number of CVA cases up to six

by Corney 40 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • BluesBrother

    All “apostate lies” of course..... and if they settle out of court it does not mean that anyone’s guilty..... ( if you believe Mr Splane )

  • Corney
  • Vidiot
    road to nowhere - "...the comments on Splanes talk said he was heading off something..."

    Jeezus, yeah; it's the only explanation that makes any sense.

    Ten bucks says they must be getting absolutely inundated with calls from elders fielding questions from the rank-and-file by now...'s like the old householder accusations of being "false prophets" from back in the day, but way, way worse.

  • Vidiot
    BluesBrother - "...if they settle out of court it does not mean that anyone’s guilty... ( if you believe Mr Splane )"

    Technically true... but it also means you were a lot less likely to win the case.

    Not to mention that settling almost always comes with a gag order (although that seems almost quaint at this point Vidiot).

  • Vidiot

    One last thing.

    For anyone who thinks this is all taking too long, or that all these little individual court cases aren't really making a difference, just remember...

    ...a swarm of hungry piranhas can fuck up your shit way worse than one big shark.

  • Corney

    Update. At this point, I'm aware of at least 43 pending child abuse lawsuits in the US (including 29 in NY and 8 in NJ), with at least 50 plaintiffs.

  • Corney

    Two NY cases (nos. 20 and 22 in my list) have been settled.

    One new case was filed in San Diego County.

  • Corney

    Courts split on whether the Governing Body may be sued

    Dozens of lawsuits (more than 50) have been filed against Watchtower over the last three years, mainly thanks to Child Victims Acts (CVA) adopted in many states (which includes at least 11 cases recently filed in California); at least five of them have been settled or dismissed. Apparently for the first time, many of those cases named the Governing Body as defendant; the GB, in its motions to dismiss, claimed, among others, that it is not a jural entity capable of being sued, and its function is solely ecclesiastical. Most of its motions have not been decided yet, as courts are overflooded with CVA cases. For example, in the entire NYC there are 13 judges assigned to more than 5,000 cases. But the situation has began changing recently, albeit slowly.

    In Grant v. Kingdom Hall (Nassau County, October 21, 2021), Justice Steven M. Jaeger found that "it remains unclear from the submissions of the parties what, precisely, the Governing Body's status is under New York Law. What is clear, however, from other cases involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses around the nation, is that the Governing Body is a proper entity to be sued." His successor cited and relied on this case as a local precedent in M. E. v. Dutchess County et al. (Dutchess County, July 14, 2022).

    In a judgment issued a month later, another court decided the Governing Body is a jural entity (an unincorporated association) that may be sued but the plaintiff's failure "to plead and prove that each [GB] member ...authorized or ratified the alleged wrongful conduct” resulted in dismissal of the case against it. The case is Laurie Wadsworth v. Fairport Congregation of Jehovahs Witnesses Fairport, New York et al (Monroe County, August 12, 2022). Nine months earlier, the same judge denied another GB's motion for dismissal due to a technical issue - its failure to provide documents or affidavits supporting its claims (Jennifer Banlaki v. Kingdom Hall Of Jehovah's Witnesses et al, Monroe County, November 10, 2021).

    In Denise J Jackson v. Watchtower Bible And Tract Society Of New York, Inc et al (Oneida County, September 13, 2022), Justice Jeffrey A. Tait found the question of the GB's legal status and its ultimate role in the organization is too difficult to decide at the early stage of litigation, especially given its failure to submit admissible evidence, so extensive discovery is needed before the GB will be allowed to renew its effort to dismiss.

    Finally, less than two weeks ago, Justice Laurence L. Love, one of three judges administering pretrial matters of CVA lawsuits in NYC, dismissed a case (Kimberley Aldridge v. The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses et al, Kings County, December 7, 2022) against the GB on the grounds that the plaintiff "does not sufficiently articulate why the Governing Body should be deemed an 'unincorporated association' by the Court, as opposed to merely a division of a non-profit religious organization (here, Watchtower). The Governing Body appears to thus be more akin to a group of managers or other type of division at a corporation that has no independent legal existence...[Its] control and oversight pertain to ecumenical duties of the Jehovah's Witness faith... [T]he Governing Body exerts ecclesial control related to the religious teachings of the Jehovah's Witness church, and the Governing Body's areas of decision are not properly before this Court. Even if the Governing Body also exerts some degree of control over secular matters, the Governing Body is still just one group of individuals within the Watchtower non-profit corporation, and thus cannot be sued as its own legal entity absent a justification for corporate veil-piercing, which Plaintiff does not suggest." Moreover, since Watchtower is named as defendant, no injustice is caused by striking out the GB. He also addressed other arguments raised by the org, including its claims that the CVA is unconstitutional (summarily rejected). There is a hope now that its similar motions in other cases will be quickly decided, and discovery process will begin.

  • Diogenesister

    Just as a FYI I got into a discussion with a Witness (who was counting time promoting Watchtower and the Russia ban) on Quora about Watchtowers child abuse problem. Having suggested two links to him, including the ARC, he came back with the following dreadful response

    • JW response to a post about the ARC, Watchtowers two witness rule and secret Database:"Confidential reports of any alleged incidents regarding a broad range of sexual misconduct and is not limited to sexual abuse of minors.

      The records include the following:

      • Individuals who have only been accused of child abuse whereas the charges have not been substantiated.
      • Individuals where allegations were made on the basis of so-called “repressed memories,” the validity of which many authorities challenge.
      • Individuals who have been accused of abusing children before becoming Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      • Individuals who have never been baptized Witnesses, but whose names we are obliged to keep because of their association with the Witnesses. (An example of this would be a non-Witness father or step-father who is accused by his Witness children or step-children of abusing them.)
      • Individuals who may or may not be considered child abusers, depending upon the jurisdiction where they live (for example, a 16-year-old boy who had sexual relations with a consenting 15-year-old girl).
      • An individual who was guilty of voyeurism.
      • An individual who was involved with “sexting.”
      • An individual who was involved with child pornography.
      • And, to be sure, individuals actually guilty of child abuse.

      Those allegations may include anyone who has walked into a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses; any individual who has studied the Bible with us in prison; and every person out of the community that associates with us where we've become aware that there is a child abuse allegation. In each case, we have followed it up and recorded it. That's the reason for those numbers. And, without details regarding these incidents, the claims about the number of alleged perpetrators as it relates to sexual abuse of minors is meaningless.

      As director of the Office of Public Information, J. R. Brown, told BBC Panorama, "We do not apologize for keeping such records here in the United States. Apart from being legally needed, they have been very helpful to us in our efforts to protect the flock from harm.

      As for the Washington thing it revolved around ONE named person who eventually went to prison. They SPECULATED that it may have been sooner.

      And this will continue and we expect it"

      Matthew 10:16–18 NASB

      16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be as wary as serpents, and as innocent as doves. 17 But be on guard against people, for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues; 18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings on My account, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

    • * I've posted this on Vanderhoven's thread on another Quora post but had no response. This is probably more appropriate.
  • Corney

    Also, there are two NJ decisions:

    one granting GB's motion to dismiss and striking it out because of complaint's deficiencies, without ruling on whether it may be sued;

    and another rejecting GB's arguments: "According to its website, the Governing Body consists of eight members operating under the recognized name of 'Governing Body.' Further, here, the Governing Body is a recognized group of individuals responsible for directing and controlling the operation that caused Plaintiff’s injuries, and thus meets the standard for an “unincorporated association” under its home state of New York’s laws... Regardless of what it comports on its website, in its many motions to dismiss filed in New York, the Governing Body avoids responding as to whether it is an unincorporated association, corporation, or any other legal entity capable of being sued." It also cited the Grant ruling and erroneously stated there are "numerous other courts around the country" supporting that position (in fact, at that time the Grant ruling was the only one).

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