Church says La Sierra Employee’s
Lawsuit is ‘Without Merit’

Outside counsel retained to defend school, leaders
BY Adventist Review staff
A July 28 lawsuit filed by three employees of La Sierra University, a Seventh-day Adventist Church-owned tertiary institution against its board chairman, the university and two officials of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, is “without merit,” the church’s top attorney says.

“The litigation is without merit, and will be defended in the most appropriate manner,” says Karnik Doukmetzian, an attorney and the North American Division’s General Counsel.  “External counsel has been retained through Adventist Risk Management which provides insurance coverage for the defendants involved, and will be defending the organizations and individuals named in the suit."

Law firm McCuneWright, LLP, filed the action on behalf of La Sierra employees Jeffry Kaatz, James Beach, and Gary Bradley, against La Sierra University, the Pacific Union Conference, the North American Division, as well as against the president of the Pacific Union Conference and two officers of the North American Division.

According to a news release issued by the plaintiffs’ law firm, the complaint stems from “actions taken against [the plaintiffs] and La Sierra University in a June 10, 2011 meeting,” during which the three were asked to resign their positions at the school.

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