Montana Supreme Court will hear the $35M case tomorrow

by Corney 56 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Corney

    The Montana case enters the home stretch. The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow, 13 September, at the Northern Hotel in Billings during the State Bar of Montana’s Annual Meeting (announcement 1, announcement 2). An introduction to the argument will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the argument starting at 10 a.m. (4 p.m. UTC, 9 a.m. SF time, 12 a.m. NY time, 5 p.m. London time, 2 a.m. Saturday Sydney time). The hearing will be streamed online here:

    Background (according to the Court's site):

    In 2004, two congregants informed the Elders of the Thompson Falls Congregation that congregant Maximo Reyes had sexually abused them when they were children. The Thompson Falls Elders contacted the Elders at the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the legal department at Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. (Watchtower) for advice. Per the advice they received, the Thompson Falls Elders kept the matter confidential and did not report it to authorities.

    Beginning in 2002, Reyes began to sexually abuse his step-granddaughter, who also attended services at the Thompson Falls Kingdom Hall, often accompanied by Reyes. In 2016, Reyes’ step-granddaughter filed this complaint, alleging Defendants had failed to report abuse as mandated by § 41-3-201(2)(h), and that Defendants were liable for the harm she suffered from Reyes’ abuse after they were told of Reyes abusing other children. The District Court found the Defendants liable for her harm as a matter of law. A jury awarded her compensatory damages of $4 million and punitive damages of $31 million. The District Court upheld the punitive damages award upon review.

    On appeal, Defendants argue that: the District Court erred in finding Defendants liable as a matter of law; the jury’s award of punitive damages is not justified; the District Court erred in upholding punitive damages in excess of the statutory cap; and the punitive damages against Defendant Watchtower violates the U.S. Constitution.

    Case page:

    Watchtower's opening brief:

    Plaintiff's response brief:

    Watchtower's reply brief:

    Montana Attorney General's brief (defending constitutionality of the state's $10 million punitive damages cap):

    Trial transript:


    What else can the Defendant argue? Lol!


  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad

    It's going on 2:30 p.m. Montana time...any updates yet? Inquiring minds want to know!😊

  • Listener

    It's 3.05 pm 12th September in Montana. The hearing starts on the 13th September

  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad
    It's 3.05 pm 12th September in Montana. The hearing starts on the 13th September

    Thank you bad! Wow...mañana is Friday the hopes that also means curtains for WT!

  • Tahoe

    Will be watching! Thank you for the links.

  • Dagney

    Looking so forward to watching this. Thank you so much for all the information posted.

  • Corney

    Some updates

    The hearing will start at 12 PM (not AM) NY time. Mea culpa.

    It apparently will be streamed audio only.

    Mark O'Donnell will be there; check his Facebook and Twitter profiles for updates.

  • smiddy3

    it`s 6:00 pm here in Vic.Australia now so I will tune in again tomorrow for the updates .

  • ThomasCovenant

    ''I want you to remember the testimony from local Elders talking about how in 2004, once they knew that Max Reyes was a known child molester, they could sit in the front of the local Thompson Falls church and look out on pews, much like we've got right here -- much like we have right here in similar position as you -- and they could see a little girl.

    This right here (indicating), that's the little girl they could see and that's what she looked like then. They could see that little girl sitting next to a known pedophile, a pedophile that they're the only people that know the sick things he does.

    They could look out and they could see her and they could know that on the weekends she's in the home with a very, very dangerous person. And those folks knew that the authorities had not been alerted and they knew the danger that that known pedophile presented to them.

    At the beginning of this trial and through this trial I'm sure the question came to your mind why, why on earth would Elders refuse to follow the law?

    What would make a person do such a thing? And now, through the course of this trial, we have the answer. And the answer is we showed what the policies are of the church.

    We showed you what the two witness rule is and we showed you their policies on keeping secrets. And where do those policies come from?

    Those policies come from the very top. And that tells you what a very powerful organization this is.

    You see, this case is not about these folks over here in these pews (indicating) that attend church in Thompson Falls. This case is about the powerful organizations up here (indicating) at the top that are setting the policies, that are exercising the kind of control that would make a person know about a child molester, see him with a child and refuse to follow the law after they know that it's the law in Montana.

    Everything that happened in 2004 on this chart was done by the book. Whose book? Their religious books.

    It was done according to their plan. It was done exactly the way that these guys up here at the top running things -- their Elders behaved exactly like they wanted them to behave, exactly how they had been taught to behave and exactly how the fear of God had been placed in them for how they should behave.''

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