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Daily News - July 27th 2000
Way attorneys seek dismissal of lawsuit
The Way International have filed a motion seeking dismissal of a lawsuit filed
by two former followers in Shelby
County Common Pleas Court.
The Way, 5555 Wierwille Road,
New Knoxville, claims attorneys for Mrs. Allen and Mr. Allen have failed to
provide requested documents, missed court deadlines, and have given improper
answers to questions posed by attorneys.
The Allens filed the
complaint against The Way and leaders of the religious organization in April,
seeking damages for breach of contract and claiming a variety of allegations.
The couple were followers and employees of The Way for about 20 years before
both left in 1999.
The Allens 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.
Martindale is named a
defendant in the lawsuit along with the Rev. Rosalie F. Rivenbark. Martindale
resigned as The Way president recently and was replaced by Rivenbark.
Martindale claims he and Mrs. Allen had a consensual affair.
In the motion filed last
week, defense attorneys Louis Columbo of Cleveland
and Michael Boller of Sidney
claim attorneys representing the Allens have not produced any documents they
have requested nor answered some questions properly. Documents sought include a
contract between the Allens and The Way when they were employed there, and
information related to any psychological treatment the Allens may have
received. The defense described this information as "core documents"
in the case.
cannot prepare their defense without the requested documents, a fact plaintiff
obviously knows," the motion states. "Their conduct is plainly
designed to frustrate preparation by defendants and to try the case by
A month ago, Judge John
D. Schmitt ordered the plaintiffs to provide documents and to answer questions
fully. The only document filed by plaintiffs' attorneys was a list of witnesses
they said would be called at trial. The list does not contain addresses of
those witnesses nor the area of expertise of two "expert witnesses"
and therefore is not adequate, the defense claims.
The plaintiffs also have
failed to meet court deadlines and failed to file for time extensions to meet
deadlines. "Plaintiffs' flagrant violations of court orders and willful
disregard for the procedural rules that govern this matter can be characterized
as nothing other than bad faith," the motion states.
Schmitt also ordered the
plaintiffs to identify 50 "John Doe" defendants to be added to the
case, but they have not done so.
Defense attorneys also
claim the Allens have failed to answer questions on the topics of alleged
physical or psychological abuse, people who have contributed funds to the
lawsuit, people with knowledge of the Allens' claims, information about WayDale,
an Internet site operated by the Allens, and identities of people who have
posted messages on WayDale or corresponded with the Allens by e-mail about the
The site, found online at
www.waydale.com, offers "insider" information about The Way
operations that the Allens say is provided by current and former members.
Information and comments about the lawsuit are posted there.
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 claimed damages totaling $56
The Allens also claim the
"mark and avoid" designation ordered by The Way leaders on former
members defamed them. The Way denies this charge.
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