Man Falls After Receiving Spirit and Sues
liable for injuries sustained during healing service
5--Last June, Matthew Lincoln was attending an evening service at his
church when he approached the altar where a visiting minister was offering
individual prayers for parishioners. Assigned "catchers" were present
on the altar in case congregants fainted, fell, or otherwise lost control.
minister, Robert Lavala, slightly touched his
forehead, the Knoxville-area man "received the spirit and fell
backwards." Except nobody was there to catch him, Lincoln charges in a $2.5 million lawsuit filed yesterday
Church and its pastors.
claims that he fell backwards, striking his head against the
"carpet-covered cement floor," according to the Circuit Court
complaint, which was first reported by Courthouse News Service.
A copy of Lincoln's lawsuit can be
found below. Since he already suffered from a "degenerative disc disease
of his neck and back," Lincoln, a former church board member, contends the
fall exacerbated the pre-existing condition and has caused him "severe and
result of the fall, Lincoln, a recording engineer, claims that he is no longer
able to care for his disabled daughter. Lincoln alleges that Lakewind and its pastors were "negligent in not
supervising the catchers to be sure that they stood behind the person being
prayed for...should they have a dizzying, fainting, or falling in the spirit as
had occurred on many occasions before."
Lincoln's lawyer, J.D. Lee, told TSG that the church's insurer, Zurich of
North America, rejected an insurance claim, asserting that Lincoln should have realized that no catchers
were situated behind him.
article then has a copy four page of Matthew Lincolnís legal complaint