Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jury Seated in Trial for Wife of Houston Pastor Joel Osteen

Texas, and particularly Houston, is known for its growing trend of mega-churches. Among the current crop of charismatic preachers who have garnered substantial attention, perhaps no one has enjoyed more national success than Joel Osteen. As pastor of the Houston-based Lakewood Church, his sermons are televised across the country every week. He also has been interviewed on all of the major news programs and his books are huge bestsellers. However, Osteen’s latest media exposure is not of the inspirational sort.

Victoria Osteen, Joel’s wife and co-pastor of Lakewood Church, is being sued by Continental flight attendant Sharon Brown over an alleged altercation that took place before a flight from Houston to Vail, Colorado. According to Ms. Brown, Victoria Osteen insisted that a flight attendant clean some liquid on her armrest and, when her request was not promptly addressed, she then tried to get into the cockpit (an act that is mildly frowned upon these days) and plead her case to the pilot. Brown got in the middle of the attempted discussion and, at that point, was allegedly assaulted by Mrs. Osteen.

Osteen’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, claims that nothing more happened than a request for napkins by his client followed by a brief verbal confrontation. Osteen has already paid a $3000 fine to the Federal Aviation Administration for interfering with a flight crew member, which lends itself to some evidence of guilt.

Brown is asking for a large chunk of change in her suit. She wants Osteen to pay for her medical bills (due to hemorrhoids … yikes!) and counseling sessions (due to loss of religious faith), as well as to hand over 10% of her substantial net worth as punitive damages.

If you have experienced pain and suffering at either end of your body (or somewhere in between) due to the acts of another person, please contact one of the personal injury lawyers at Bertolino LLP. We will work with you to find the justice you deserve.

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