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New victory in the class action for sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses: the Court of Appeal dismisses the two appeals by the Jehovah's Witnesses organizations

2020-12-17

Woods is proud to have once again obtained a win for its client, Lisa Blais, in the class action for sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses and regarding the subsequent treatment of these abuses.  After Woods obtained authorisation of the class action in February 2019, the defendants, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, appealed the decision. On December 11, 2020, the Court of Appeal dismissed these appeals. The Honourable Justice Lucie Fournier, with the Honourable Justices Yves-Marie Morissette and Dominique Bélanger concurring, determined that the application for authorisation contains sufficiently specific allegations against the defendants and rejected their arguments related to freedom of religion. The Court of Appeal also confirmed that Quebec courts have jurisdiction to judge the conduct of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.

As difficult proceedings are ahead for the members of the class action group, Sarah Woods and Laurence Ste-Marie will keep assisting victims through the judicial process to ensure that justice is served. 

To read the judgment (in French only), click here.