Reveal article: Jehovah’s Witnesses settle suit alleging cover-up of child sex abuse
The WTS seems to have a "Clergy" class when it suits them.
The slightly bizarre thing is that right now in Australia the Catholic Church is having it's dirty laundry about it's payouts to child abuse victims aired as part of the ARC yet the WTS seems intent on following in it's footsteps and using it's finances to try and keep a lid on the bad publicity.
If the experience of other organisations is anything to go by then it will catch up with them at some point.
It's also funny to note how keen they always are to stress how much the organisation is ahead of the curve as far as bet practice and going above and beyond statutory requirements is concerned when it suits yet are years behind as far as their child protection policies are concerned and seemingly unable to learn from the experience of other organisations.
The hubris is overwhelming.
When a city employee commits a wrongful act and that act causes damage to someone, the city is vicariously liable.
But what wrongful act is the wt doing when they are required by US law not disclose confidential communications and wt must comply?
It is the US law that protects confidential communications. And when state law contradicts US law, state law does not invalidate US law.
What does wt have to gain by keeping confidentiality? US law holds wt responsible not to disclose confidential communications.
WT still has a legal duty under US law not to disclose even when state law contradicts US law.
And how is wt covering anything up when confidential communications OF THE CONGREGANT is protected under US law. WT and elders are not gaining anything by the non-disclosure, to the contrary; US law holds wt accountable. WT is not covering up child abuse.
It is US law that covers up the communication- not wt.
I think that covers it except that in the US anybody can sue anyone for anything. And regardless of the validity of the case, all cases must be defended and that costs a lot of money and when the cost of the defense exceeds the damages sought, it is cheaper to settle. Defense costs money win or loose. The person being sued wants to pay the least amount as possible. The person suing wt and their attorneys want money from the wt. That is all they want --money --- and that is all they settle for; they don't care about child abuse confidentiality and the wt but only as it applies to their case in dollars. That is what US case law shows.
And regardless of the validity of the case all cases must be defended and that costs a lot of money and when the cost of the defense exceeds the damages sought it is cheaper to settle. Defense costs money win or loose.
This is true however given the increasing number of people looking to claim against the WT then if they could set some precedents that limit their liability then it would be cheaper in the long run and deter people from making spurious claims.
The WTS tried tirelessly to avoid any liabilities in the Candice Conti case. There was no quick settlement there as they thought they'd bully the victim, out finance her and dishearten everyone else thinking of doing the same.
They lost the Candic Conti case. They are facing increasing secular scrutiny of historic and current abuse policies. The internet is allowing more and more people to see more and more cases of abuse by Witnesses in the public domain. Regardless of the organisational culpability this problem is not going to go away and the WTS is now caught in a dilemma of how to deal with this.
That is all they want money and that is all they settle for, they don't care about child abuse confidentiality and the wt but only as it applies to their case in dollars.
I guess at a base level this is true however it could be implied that any claim is essentially vindictive money grabbing by a victim. I think you would have to have been a victim to really understand the cathartic benefit of being able to have your day in court and see some kind of justice done.
There seems to be some confusion. Secular courts don't have subject matter jurisdiction in purely religious cases, such as membership or discipline of members. As example Anderson v Watchtower shows that df'ing is a matter that secular courts cannot intereve. Or in the Menlo Park case, that removal of elders is a decision that the branch can make only and cannot be reviewed by the courts.
The courts have determined though that secular courts does have subject matter jurisdiction in secular matters. But what the courts have ruled in child sex abuse cases is a few things. First, in many states the breaking of the mandatory reporting statutes is a criminal matter and does not rise a civil cause of action. In PA the statute calls for the violation of the mandatory reporting as a misdemeanor with a possible sentence of up to 1 year in prison and/or up to a 1000 dollar fine. Second, the Conti appeals court ruled that Watchtower and the congregation did not have a duty to warn or to protect. The appeals court ruled that all Watchtower and the congregation did not supervise Kendrick only when it came to the event that he took Candace in service, as service is an official activity of Watchtower and the congregation. Though in another case another California appeals court ruled that only the actual act of field service is the official activity, not the going to or from field service. Third, the first amendment argument that Watchtower argues comes from the fact that watchtower, a recognized religion, views judicial committee and transmission of those committee facts to the branch is confidential. California is one of the few states that doesn't automatically recognize that argument, that doesn't mean that the majority of other states don't. It has caused problems, such as as Georgia has defined the confidentiality so narrowly that only Christian and Jewish spiritual leaders can claim the privilege. Previous on this post I posted westlaw summaries of cases that prove that.
As example Anderson v Watchtower shows that df'ing is a matter that secular courts cannot intereve
Yes, and some df individuals sue the wt anyway, even after being advised of case law, and wt must answer the summons and complaint - defend - and go to Court if they widh to pursue and that costs both wt and plaintiffs money. But wt has not been found doing anything illegal or held liable by dfing someone.
First, in many states the breaking of the mandatory reporting statutes is a criminal matter and does not rise a civil cause of action. In PA the statute calls for the violation of the mandatory reporting as a misdemeanor with a possible sentence of up to 1 year in prison and/or up to a 1000 dollar fine.
That is correct and had the Defendants violated the statute in the Fessler case, they would have had to answer criminal charges but that was not the case.
Law of duty to warn and protect not only applies to wt but to a Catholic priest that hears a confession and does nothing to protect his church or society and also applies to all religions. No legal duty but there is a moral one but moral duty of the church is not secular court subject matter. There is a catch that Conti case brought out and that is even if no legal duty to warn and protect exist, if acted upon to warn and protect , it becomes a legal duty. Law is tricky.
Anyway, Conti ruling applied only to church sponsored activities.
But RO, what do you think or what does legislation show at this time, does Conti ruling subject all wt fs activities to legal duty to warn and protect children even when jw go out in fs on their own or parents give their children to someone else to go out. Under what circumstances is wt liable or is wt always liable when children or adults go out in fs.
For the forum please.
Wow Landy, Fisherman and Richard Oliver must have broke records for unpopular opening responses on this thread.
WELL SAID, dubstepped, extremely well said! thank you so much.
In the Conti case it was defined that there was enough evidence that an elder assigned Kendrick to work with Candace. That is where the issue was . If a parent asked someone to pick up there daughter to take her, that is a different story. Every case is unique. That is why elders are instructed to get legal advice on a case by case basis, their instructions is even not to rely on what the legal department informed them before on a different case.