Joyce Meyer and her employees have been dropped as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Sheri Coleman’s family. The attorneys for Sheri Coleman’s family, who was the housewife murdered by her husband along with her two sons, filed the motion after a judge ruled that Joyce Meyer Ministries did not have to submit to being deposed.
The hearing for the motion will be on Feb. 23, which is three days before a hearing to add Joyce Meyer Ministries as a defendant to the wrongful death suit. Christopher Coleman is suspected of killing his family because police testified at a hearing that he was afraid of losing his job at Joyce Meyer Ministries if he were to get a divorce, which according to police testimony was against the ministry’s policies.
Attorneys for the ministry dispute that conclusion and say that divorced people are allowed to work for Joyce Meyer. They pointed out the fact that Meyer herself is a remarried divorcee and that their employee handbook says nothing about denying employment to or terminating divorced people.
One attorney for Joyce Meyer, Mike King, stated he is happy about the motion if it means they have no intentions of pursuing any legal proceedings against the ministry in the future, but he also feels it may be a legal maneuver by the plaintiffs’ attorneys to go “venue shopping” to a more sympathetic court district.
There is speculation in the blogosphere that the two parties made an out-of-court agreement of some sort, but this is probably unlikely since the plaintiffs’ attorneys lost their motion to try to depose Joyce Meyer which probably gutted their legal strategy.
Source: Nicholas J.C. Pistor, Coleman’s family now wants Joyce Meyer Ministries dropped from suit”, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb. 16, 2010.