The wrongful death suit filed against the Church of Scientology by the family of Lisa McPhearson has once again been postponed, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

McPhearson died while under the care of Scientologists within one of their facilities in Clearwater, Florida.

Scientology’s lawyers have filed an appeal regarding a decision made by the presiding judge, who rejected their bid to remove the plaintiff’s attorney Ken Dandar for misconduct. This was an apparent strategy to reduce the plaintiff’s ability to prosecute the case and/or a simple delaying tactic.

One lawyer familiar with Scientology litigation observed, “I thought the church would either get it knocked out, or they would wear Dandar out, or at the very end they’d settle. I don’t think the church wants what Dandar is going to do in that courtroom.”

While Scientology continues their appeal the judge decided to postpone the trial, which was scheduled to begin in a matter of days. Now it looks like months will pass before another court date is set.

Such stalling and maneuvering is common for Scientology. It is not unusual for a court case to be held up for years through such legal wrangling, or even longer to collect a subsequent judgement.

In one notable case it took a plaintiff 22 years to conclude his case and collect a judgement rendered against Scientology. The controversial church, which has been called a “cult,” ultimately paid that former member $8 million dollars regarding his personal injury claim.

It seems a settlement was in the works, but Dandar said “demands made by the church” kept it from concluding. This probably means Scientology is demanding some kind of “gag order” to keep everyone silent after making a big pay off.

One attorney said the lawsuit should pull in a settlement of about $5 million, but Dandar stated nothing less than $15 million dollars was being considered.

If Scientology was willing to pay $8 million to a former member injured by the church, how much more should they pay the family of a Scientologist who is dead due to their alleged wrongdoing?

It seems that $16 million would be cheap at twice the price they paid through the previous settlement.


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