Stipulation of Continuance
January 3rd, 2023 Stipulation of Discontinuance
“IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED AND AGREED, by and between the undersigned, the attorneys of record for Plaintiff DEBORAH HINES and Defendants WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF NEW YORK; THE GOVERNING BODY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES; and JOHN AND JANE DOES 1-20, … the above entitled action be, and the same hereby is, discontinued with prejudice, and without costs to any party. This stipulation may be filed without further notice with the Clerk of the Court.”
The case of Hines versus Watchtower was originally filed in August 2021, just prior to the deadline for the Child Victims Act civil filings. The CVA opened up a two-year window permitting child abuse survivors to file civil claims in New York State that had been previously barred by the statute of limitations.
The case had some unique circumstances in that the plaintiff alleged that while living at the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Brooklyn New York compound, reports of sexual abuse by her stepfather reached high-level overseers within the Organization, including Governing Body members Jack Barr and Gerrit Losch. These reports were kept confidential and not forwarded to law enforcement.
The Hines case was stayed during the summer of 2021, along with other cases in Kings County New York. The Jehovah’s Witnesses sought representation from the Law Firm of K&L Gates, together with their in-house team of CSA attorneys. The case did not move forward into discovery and was settled in a confidential agreement between the plaintiff and Watchtower.