Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 21:20:30 +0200 (CEST)
From: Anonymous <email@example.com>
Subject: Scientology's Defense to killing Lisa---Blame Lisa!
The defenses laid out by Scientology are towards the end of this document filed on 10-15-99. There are a few interesting tidbits before the defenses but you have to have patience. All Scientologists, especially those who have claimed to be Lisa's friend, should be ashamed of the so called leaders of Scientology who instructed their attorneys to prepare the lies herein. Miss Moneypenny IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE THIRTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, STATE OF FLORIDA GENERAL CIVIL DIVISION ESTATE OF LISA McPHERSON, by and through the Personal Representative, DELL LIEBREICH, Plaintiff, V. CASE NO.:97-01235 DIVISION: "H" CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG SERVICE ORGANIZATION, JANIS JOHNSON, ALAIN KARTUZINSKI; and DAVID HOUGHTON, Defendants. CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG SERVICE ORGANIZATION'S ANSWER AND DEFENSES TO THE FOURTH AMENDED COMPLAINT Defendant, Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization (the "Church"), by its undersigned attorneys, answers the correspondingly numbered paragraphs of the Fourth Amended complaint as follows: GENERAL ALLEGATIONS A. Denied. 1. Denied, except admitted that Lisa McPherson was a single adult and was at all material times a resident of Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida. 2. Denied. Dell Liebreich's appointment was obtained by fraud and constitutes a felony. Her appointment is invalid and she has no standing to bring this action. 3. Denied, except admitted that the Church is a religious organization incorporated under the laws of Florida and engaging in religious activities in Clearwater, Florida. It is also admitted that the Church holds title to the Ft. Harrison religious retreat. By Order dated September 8, 1999, the Court has stricken the following phrases from this paragraph of the Fourth Amended Complaint: (a) it is part of the Church of Scientology conglomerate of corporations and other collectively as "SCIENTOLOGY or "CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY" and (b) science fiction. 4. By Order dated September 8, 1999, the Court has stricken all but the last sentence of paragraph 4. That sentence is denied, except that it is admitted that pursuant to the religious beliefs of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard is the source of Scientology and the Founder of the religion. 5. By Order dated September 8, 1999, the Court has stricken all but the first sentence of paragraph 5. The first sentence of paragraph 5 is denied except admitted that the religion of Scientology includes writings on all eight dynamics which encompass the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes and other life. 6. Denied. 7. By Order dated September 8, 1999, paragraph 7 was stricken by the Court. 8. By Order dated September 8, 1999, paragraph 8 was stricken by the Court. 9. Denied. The religion of Scientology includes in its Scripture millions of words contained in tens of thousands of pages of writings and spoken word on recorded lectures that comprise the theology and practice of the religion. 10. Denied, except admitted that Lisa McPherson became a practicing member of the Scientology religion at the able of 18. It is further admitted that Lisa McPherson at one time dedicated herself to the religion's Sea Org fraternal order and later abandoned that calling but continued as a parishioner of the religion. 11. Denied. 12. Denied. further, punishment is not any part of the Scientology religion and its theology concerning ethics specifically rejects that concept. 13. Denied. PTS is a religious description of a spiritual condition and the allegations in this paragraph misinterpret a religious doctrine of Scientology. 14. Denied. 15. Denied. 16. Denied, except admitted that on November 18, 1995 Lisa McPherson was transferred by ambulance to the Morton Plant Hospital located in Clearwater, Florida, where she received a medical and psychological evaluation in the emergency room. 17. Denied. I8. Denied. 19. By Order dated September 8, 1999, the Court has stricken that portion of the first sentence of paragraph 19 which states, "By acting erratic in public ... the paramedics and Morton Plant Hospital. " The remaining portion of paragraph 19 is denied. 20. Denied. 21. Denied. 22. Denied. 23, By Order dated September 8, 1999, the Court has stricken all except the last sentence of paragraph 23. The last sentence is denied. 24. Denied. 25. Denied. 26. Denied. 27. Denied. "Scientology" is a religion, and not an entity. Lisa McPherson at all times was engaged in a protected religious activity. 28. Denied. 29. Denied. 30. Denied. 31. Denied. 32. Denied. 33. Denied COUNT I 34. Denied, except admitted that this purports to be such an action. 35. The Church alleges it answers to paragraphs I through 33 as though fully set forth herein. 36. Denied. 37. Denied. COUNT II By Order dated September 28, 1999, Count II was dismissed and was not timely amended by the Plaintiff. COUNT III 43. Denied, except admitted that this purports to be such an action, 44. The Church alleges its answers to paragraphs I through 33 as though fully set forth herein. 45. Denied. 46. Denied. 47. Denied. COUNT IV 48. Denied, except admitted that this purports to be such an action. 49. The Church alleges its answers to paragraphs I through 33 as though fully set forth herein. 50. Denied. 49[sic] Denied. 50[sic] Denied. 51. Denied. 52. Denied, furthermore, the Church alleges its answers to paragraphs 41 through 49 as if My set forth herein. 53. Denied. COUNT V 54. Denied, except admitted that this purports to be such an action. 55. The Church alleges its answers to paragraphs I through 33 as though fully set forth herein. 56. Denied. 57, Denied. 58. Denied. 59. Denied. 60. Denied, furthermore the Church alleges its answers to paragraphs 41 through 49 as though fully set forth herein. 61. Denied. COUNT VI 62.The Church alleges its answers to paragraphs I through 33 as though fully set forth herein. 63. Denied. 64. Denied. COUNT VII By Order dated September 28, 1999, Count VII was dismissed and was not timely amended by the Plaintiff COUNT VIII By Order dated September 28, 1999, Count VIE was dismissed and the Plaintiff did not seek, and the Court did not grant, leave to amend Count VIII. FIRST DEFENSE The Plaintiff has failed to state a cause of action for false imprisonment or battery because Plaintiff s own allegations negate these claims. The Plaintiff has alleged that the injuries suffered in these counts resulted in death. As a result, these counts merge with Plaintiff s wrongful death count. SECOND DEFENSE The Plaintiff has failed to state a cause of action in Counts IV and V for a violation of Chapter 400. The pleadings are inherently false and from the plain facts of the case the Plaintiff must have known the pleading to be untrue. The Plaintiff seeks to hold the Church, as owner of the Fort Harrison, a religious retreat, responsible for damages based on statutory causes of action that can only be maintained, respectively, against the licensee of a nursing home or an assisted living facility. The Church is neither a nursing home nor an assisted living facility. THIRD DEFENSE The Complaint fails to state a cause of action because it seeks damages against the Church for acts that were undertaken pursuant to certain individuals' and the Plaintiff's deeply held religious beliefs. The Complaint seeks damages based upon acts that constituted the exercise of religious practice. The exercise of religious practice is protected activity under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Florida's Constitution and Florida's Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA"). Furthermore, the subject matter that the Plaintiff seeks to adjudicate cannot be adjudicated by a court pursuant to the First Amendment and RFRA. FOURTH DEFENSE Plaintiff did not exercise ordinary care, caution or prudence for her welfare to avoid the happening of the alleged incidents, injuries or damages, if any, and by this failure to do so, Plaintiff thereby directly and proximately contributed to, or was the sole cause of the alleged injuries, losses and damages, if any. FIFTH DEFENSE Any recovery obtained by the Plaintiff herein, which is denied, should be reduced, off set, or set off for any and ail collateral source benefits received by or payable to Plaintiff. SIXTH DEFENSE The damages allegedly suffered by the Plaintiff were not caused by any act or omissions to act on the part of the Church and were caused by other trauma suffered by the Plaintiff wholly unrelated to the Church. SEVENTH DEFENSE If the Church is found liable to the Plaintiff for damages herein, which the Church denies, Plaintiff's damages must be reduced by the amount attributable to Plaintiffs comparative and relative fault, EIGHTH DEFENSE If the Church is subject to any liability to the Plaintiff, which the Church denies, it will be due in whole or in part to the acts, omissions, activities, carelessness, recklessness and/or negligence of others, including Morton Plant Hospital and its medical personnel. Therefore, any recovery obtained by Plaintiff against the Church should be reduced in proportion to the respective negligence and fault and legal responsibility of all other parties, persons and entities, their agents, servants and employees who contributed to and/or caused any such injury and/or damages. In accordance with the laws of comparative liability; the liability of the Church, if any, is limited in direct proportion to the percentage of fault actually attributed to the Church. NINTH DEFENSE The Plaintiffs injuries, if any, were the result of a pre-existing injury, which was not diagnosed by the medical personnel at Morton Plant Hospital and which was not aggravated by the alleged incident herein. Alternatively, if any pre-existing injury was aggravated by the alleged incident herein, Plaintiff is only entitled to reimbursement for the degree of aggravation, and any recovery obtained herein must be reduced to the percentage of the aggravation which she allegedly suffered as a result of this claimed incident. TENTH DEFENSE The Church maintains that it is not liable for all or any of the allegations of Plaintiffs Complaint and at the time of trial the names of all responsible persons or entities should appear on the verdict form so that a jury can apportion liability as required by Section 768.81(3), Florida Statutes. SEVENTH DEFENSE The Good Samaritan statute, Section 768.13, Florida Statutes, provides the Church with complete or partial immunity to the claims of the Plaintiff. TWELFTH DEFENSE The Church reasonably believed that, if taken, the actions allegedly constituting battery and false imprisonment were necessary to prevent the Plaintiff from being seriously injured. Lisa McPherson had voluntarily entered the Church facilities to engage in religious practice. The actions were reasonable under the circumstances to protect the physical safety and spiritual progress of Ms. McPherson, and the Church did not have any intent to harm the health, safety, or welfare of the Plaintiff, nor was any harm arm to her health, safety or welfare reasonably foreseeable. THIRTEENTH DEFENSE Because of the conduct acts and omissions of Plaintiff, Plaintiff has waived any claim to or is estopped from seeking the damages alleged in the Complaint. FOURTEENTH DEFENSE The alleged actions of the Church did not constitute false imprisonment or battery because the Plaintiff consented to being cared for at the Fort Harrison in accordance with her religious beliefs. FIFTEENTH DEFENSE Plaintiff lacks standing to bring this action, because her appointment as personal representative was obtained through fraud and commission of criminal acts. SIXTEENTH DEFENSE Plaintiff is entitled to no damages under the wrongful death statute since the Complaint fails to identify any beneficiaries as required by Section 768.2 1, Florida Statutes; Lisa McPherson's sole "survivor" under the statute, her mother, has died, thereby extinguishing any net accumulations damages under Section 768.24, Florida Statutes; said sole survivor was not entitled to lost "support and services" damages during her lifetime, since Ms. McPherson did riot support her mother; and the estate incurred no other statutory damages, such as medical and funeral expenses, authorized by statute. SEVENTEENTH DEFENSE This action constitutes an abuse of process, in that it is brought and prosecuted for the improper and collateral purpose of attacking the Scientology religion. EIGHTEENTH DEFENSE The complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted because Lisa McPherson executed several covenants not to sue and releases for all potential damages in favor of the Church. NINETEENTH DEFENSE Plaintiff s alleged injuries, if any, were the result of a superseding, intervening cause. Respectfully submitted, Of Counsel: ERIC M. LIEBERMAN MORRIS WEINBERG, JR. Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Florida Bar No. 0486401 Krinsky & Lieberman, P.C. LEE FUGATE 740 Broadway, 5' Floor Florida Bar No. 0 170928 New York, New York 10003 Zuckerman, Spaeder Taylor & Evans, LLP Tel: 212-254-1111 401 E. Jackson Street, Suite, 2525 Fax: 212-674-4614 Tampa, Florida 33602 Tel: 813-221-1010 Fax: 813-223-7961 MICHAEL LEE HERTZBERG 740 Broadway, 5" Floor New York, New York 10003 Tel: 212-982-9870 Fax: 212-674-4614 Attorneys for Defendant Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization
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