Day 5 - Fessler vs. Watchtower – Ends: Plaintiff settles in Jehovah’s Witness Child Abuse Trial

by darkspilver 90 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • steve2

    "Attorneys take these cases on a contingency basis, their motivation is mostly monetary."

    Man is this a tired, over-used line, trotted out at every conceivable turn. And no other discipline or career has money as its motivation?

    Even World Vision and Oxfam must keep generating funds, and surgeons do not work for peanuts. Would you engage in employment with no thought to remuneration?

  • steve2

    "What the complaint set out in this case was pretty ridiculous in my opinion. In the complaint it talks about how Watchtower should prevent all interaction between any adult and child. Should monitor all activities of congregation members and so forth."

    That is a travesty of what the plaintiff's case expressed. Where did the plaintiff's case argue that the Watchtower "should monitor all activities of congregation members and so forth"?

    To be clear, the plaintiff's argued that JW organization made no effort to prevent interaction between a known sexual offender and the under age victim.

    And speaking of culpability: Given elders' close contact with JW organization throughout this congregational matter when it first emerged and subsequently - and their taking direction from the JW organization legal department as is the standard requirement of elders - JW organization needs to have been included in the civil case.

  • Incognito

    While it would be great to be able to proceed with trial on a matter of principle, successful civil actions are won based on a financial award.

    Part of the plaintiff's lawyer's job is to advise his/her client on the probability of winning an action and the potential amount of money to be awarded or lost in case of an unfavorable court decision.

    If WT made an offer to settle, the plaintiff's lawyer would be required to make the offer known to the plaintiff along with providing advice on accepting the offer and any conditional requirements with that offer. If the offer is substantial and as the plaintiff would incur no further legal expenses for an immediate guaranteed settlement amount, the lawyer would likely recommend accepting the offer with no further court involvement. Proceeding with trial based on principle may end-up further costing the plaintiff financially, even if he/she and their lawyer feel they have a good and provable case. A favorable court decision can never be assured.

  • darkspilver

    Mulling this over for a bit....

    First I must say that I admire and greatly appreciate anybody who takes the time, effort and financial cost to attend court proceedings with a view to reporting on them.

    We've had just one daily update from the court - that of the first day Tuesday 7 Feb, which was posted on this forum on Sunday 12 Feb, by which time the court case was probably effectively finished as the parties settled the following day, on Monday 13 Feb (following negotiations over the weekend?)

    I wonder if...

    • the court room narrative was actually not following the expected road map that those reporting on it had envisioned and was moving forward only slowly, hence lack of daily updates.

    • the therapist Lori Barton’s notes actually played a far greater role in this than the Plaintiff was expecting (note that Lori Barton was not due to be a witness? hence her notes would have had to stand without any additional explanation)

    • the Defendants where also actually putting up a stronger defense than might have been expected (due to above?). The case had already run four days (?) and was initially expected to last only five or six days - I wonder how many of the 14 main witnesses had actually been called to testify?, very few I suspect - therefore the Plaintiff would have realised that the court costs where rapidly raising.

    It's Wednesday 15 February now. What has happened to the reports from Day 2 Wednesday 8 February; Day 3 Thursday 9 February; and Day 4 Friday 10 February?

    Although the court case appears to have been heard in pubic - and is a matter of public record...

    I wonder if, due to their having been dialogue between the Plaintiff and those hoping to report (ie give an editorial opinion on the case as it unfolded) - vis-a-vis the reporter having had contact and supplied information to the Plaintiff that was deemed to be useful to the Plaintiff's case - that now the reporter themselves has their own hands tied due to the settlement's gag order.

    I do hope we at least get the daily transcripts - the daily reports would have been nice too - but I wonder if the reporter was basically too late in posting them, before the settlement (and gag order) was announced. Which is a big pity considering the time, effort and money they must have put into attending.

  • kpop

    Hi Mrquik yes I was thinking the same thing and I hope this catches on.

  • Richard Oliver
    Richard Oliver


    This is from the complaint. I posted it earlier. These two are examples where the plantiff wants Watchtower to monitor the activities of all members:

    "failing to limit one-on-one interactions between adults and minors."

    How can a religion or anyone other than parents limit the interactions that their children have. And how can anyone force another adult to limit their interactions with others. I know I know, people here will say, Watchtower does it all the time when they tell people not to communicate with DF'd people. But in reality if people want to communicate with someone else there is very little that Watchtower can do about it, both legally and practically. If someone wants to associate with someone else no organization can stop them. There are laws that can stop people from associating or coming within a certain distance of a person or class of person but a religion doesn't have that ability.

    "failing to ban or restrict overnight activities between congregants and minors"

    Here again, I am not blaming the parents, but how can Watchtower or anyone know what another person is doing at night in their private home. It is up to parents to know where their children are especially at night. No one can monitor people 24 hours a day and know who they are with and what they are doing at all the times.

  • rebelfighter


    I work with an International youth group all adults have to maintain their annual Adult Certified Volunteers status in order to volunteer to work with these girls. When the girls join the organization both the girls and her parents attend a meeting and the rules are set out very clearly we do not tolerate: there is a long list they get it in writing at the end is one sheet the daughter, parents and ACV will sign it and this will go in the permanent file.

    A couple points in particular that is made very clear in this list is no daughter is ever to be alone with an adult. Never is there to be a one on one situation. We have very successful sleepovers all the time. They are truly a blast, sleepover well skip that part that says "sleep" that part never seems to happen!! LOL

    If the organization is run properly with rules in place and proper adult supervision you can have a super great time with the kids and zero incidents. And that is why I still enjoy these teenagers when I am 65.

  • rebelfighter


    She was privately reproved at 14 for WHAT?

    She was publicly reproved at 15 for WHAT?

  • OrphanCrow
    RO: This is from the complaint. I posted it earlier. These two are examples where the plantiff wants Watchtower to monitor the activities of all members:

    If you have posted it earlier, can you please direct us to the documents that you extracted your information from? I am having difficulty finding what you are referring to. Lots of articles but nothing "from the complaint"

  • Richard Oliver
    Richard Oliver

    You can read a copy of the complaint at:

    Page 11. Points F and G

    When the complaint was speaking specifically about Fessler and Monheim, it would specifically use their names. Here they are speaking in general, that Watchtower should do this for every member.

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