Judge weighs whether to dismiss Joyce Meyer Ministries wrongful death suit

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by Matt Sczesny / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 15 at 5:41 PM

WATERLOO, Ill. (KMOV) – A Monroe County judge is still weighing a decision whether to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit against Joyce Meyer Ministries.

The suit was filed by the family of Sheri Coleman, who was killed along with her two sons by her husband Christopher Coleman in 2009.

Christopher Coleman, who is now in prison, at one time was employed by Meyer as a security officer. He seemingly didn’t hide his extramarital affair and sent threatening emails to himself from work.

The suit alleges that Joyce Meyer Ministries should have known that Coleman was plotting at work to murder his family so he could be with his mistress.

Attorney Michael King argued that the Ministry had no duty under Illinois law to stop or alert anyone that Christopher Coleman would murder his family.

“There’s a limit to what an employer’s responsibility is to people beyond their own employment,” said King. “…Our suggestion is, don’t get me wrong as Joyce has expressed this is a terrible horrific crime, but that’s not the issue is who’s responsible, and Chris Coleman is responsible for it.”

Attorneys Rebekah Williams and Jack Carey, on behalf of the family of Sheri Coleman, countered the Ministry did have an obligation to protect the Coleman Family.

“Joyce Meyer Ministry, we believe, had a duty to warn or protect the Coleman family. They knew or should have known about these death threats,” said Williams.

The judge in the case will likely make a decision soon, but even he in court said he expects both sides will appeal.

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