Ex-Scientologist Collects $8.7 Million In 22-Year-Old Case - 2002-05-10
Nearly 22 years ago, Lawrence Wollersheim, a disaffected member of the Church of Scientology, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles accusing the church of mental abuse that pushed him to the brink of suicide. Teams of lawyers and various rulings came and went, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judgments against the church hit $30 million, then dropped to $2.5 million.
But the Church of Scientology never paid -- until yesterday, when officials wrote a check for more than $8.6 million to end the case, one of the longest-running in California history.
"They stalled it and stalled it and stalled it," said Wollersheim, 53, now of Nevada. He called his victory a landmark for former members of the church, which is known for heated and protracted legal battles.