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Wrongful Death Alleged at Berea Church

06.10.17 11:10 AM – Andy McDonald
A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed almost a year after a woman died in a Chestnut Street church in Berea.
According to Madison County Circuit Court records,

Katherine Lowery Logan, the mother of the late South Carolina resident Lindsay Poole, filed the civil complaint earlier this month.

The lawsuit alleges that Poole, 33, died at the Peaceful Mountain Way church on Chestnut Street on August 27, 2016. Poole died as the result of a fall, according to reports.

Peaceful Mountain Way was affiliated with the Oklevueha Earthwalks Native American Church of Utah, Inc. Both the Berea church and its parent organization are named as defendants in the complaint. Other defendants named in the suit include James W.F.E. Mooney, of Utah, and Richmond residents Demian and Tina Glover, both of whom are cited as proprietors of the Peaceful Mountain Way church, according to court documents.

The Berea Police Department stated the investigation into Lindsay Poole’s death remains open, though they added they had received no complaints about the church and they were even not aware of its existence until Poole’s death.

The church’s website notes that participants may accept “healing sacraments,” including a hallucinogenic substance, Ayahuasca, which contains Dimethyltrptamine (DMT). DMT is an illegal substance, however the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 makes exceptions in the use of certain outlawed substances if they are employed in religious rites.

Precisely how the church is responsible for Poole’s death is not made clear in the lawsuit. The complaint alleges Poole suffered pain and mental anguish in the course of her death, and the plaintiff is seeking to recover medical and funeral expenses, as well as recovery of damages for lost earning power as a result of Poole’s death. The complaint also asks for punitive damages, alleging the defendants’ conduct constituted “gross negligence and wanton and reckless behavior” that resulted in Poole’s death. Again, precisely what defendants allegedly did wrong is not specified in court documents.

Katherine Lowery Logan is a resident of South Carolina, and is represented by the law firm of Moore & Moore of Lexington.
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