Daily News - 09/01/2000
Couple ordered to pay for delay in Way case
Attorneys for a couple
suing The Way International were ordered to pay $300 to defense attorneys
because court papers were filed late, Judge John D. Schmitt ruled in Shelby County Common Pleas Court.
Former employees of The
Way, 5555 Wierwille Road, New Knoxville, Mrs. Allen and Mr. Allen claim they
suffered humiliation, embarrassment and stress at the hands of The Way
officials, and that officials attempted to "coerce" Mrs. Allen into
engaging in sexual activity with the Rev. L. Craig Martindale, former
president, between 1996 and 1999. The Allens resigned as employees of The Way
The Way had sought
dismissal of the case or sanctions against the Allens, but Schmitt said in his
ruling last week that this request was "too severe." However, because
defense attorneys filed motions because of late paperwork, Schmitt ordered the
plaintiffs to "reimburse" the defense $300 in attorneys' fees.
Martindale is named a
defendant in the lawsuit along with the Rev. Rosalie F. Rivenbark. Martindale
resigned as The Way president soon after the complaint was filed and was
replaced by Rivenbark. Martindale claims he and Mrs. Allen had a consensual
In the motion filed in
July, attorneys for The Way claim the plaintiffs' attorneys have not produced
any documents requested nor answered some questions properly. Documents sought
include employment contracts, any psychological treatment, information about
witnesses, responses to some questions and information about an Internet site
operated by the Allens known as WayDale.
Responding to the motion,
attorney James E. Burns noted his clients answered all but five of the 28
questions posed by The Way. Since the initial responses, the plaintiffs have
made an effort to answer the questions more fully. The Way should have other
information already available, Burns indicated.
Burns admitted attorneys
were late in responding to requests from attorneys for The Way, but any
tardiness was not intentional.
The Allens are seeking $2
million on a claim of breach of contract and additional damages on other
claims. They also claim The Way officials defrauded them of money, conspired
against them and damaged their reputations. They claim damages totaling $56
million. They also claim the "mark and avoid" designation ordered by
The Way leaders on former members defamed them. The Way denies this allegation.
Trial in the case has
been scheduled to begin Nov. 8.