Church loads up for one last fight - 2001-12-09

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F15.png Church loads up for one last fight December 9, 2001, Deborah O'Neil, St. Petersburg Times

A civil wrongful-death lawsuit, itself now almost 5 years old, alleges church workers let McPherson die Dec. 5, 1995, in the Fort Harrison Hotel, where she spent the last 17 days of her life being cared for by fellow Scientologists. The lawsuit contends that church staffers allowed McPherson, 36, to become so dehydrated she was too weak even to stop cockroaches from biting her.

As it did in the criminal case, Scientology has committed exhaustive resources to defending itself, assembling a squadron of top-notch lawyers and nationally known scientists. Observers say the aggressive legal strategy is designed to outlast the opponent, Ken Dandar, a Tampa lawyer representing McPherson's estate.

"They are going to and have worked Dandar to a near-death experience," said longtime Clearwater attorney Denis deVlaming, who has represented some of Scientology's harshest critics.


{{cite news | author = Deborah O'Neil | title = Church loads up for one last fight | url = http://www.sptimes.com/News/120901/NorthPinellas/Church_loads_up_for_o.shtml | work = St. Petersburg Times | date = December 9, 2001 | accessdate = January 14, 2017 }}