Saturday, April 30, 2005

Exorcism in Lieu of 911

Here's a PDF file of an unusual employment discrimination case in Michigan. Quoting:

One day, plaintiff [Michelle Howard, a Child Protective Services (CPS) worker for FIA (Family Independence Agency of Michigan)] made an unannounced visit to A.P.’s home. According to plaintiff’s report, A.P. had been drinking alcohol when she arrived. Plaintiff learned that plaintiff was prone to seizures and that doctors had given her a prescription to prevent them, but A.P. had not filled the prescription. Plaintiff also learned that that drinking alcohol enhanced A.P.’s susceptibility to seizures. Plaintiff’s report went on to state that, during the visit, plaintiff and A.P. discussed how church counseling and prayer could help A.P. and her relationship with her boyfriend. During this discussion, A.P. began to convulse and go into a seizure. Plaintiff believed A.P.’s behavior to be demonic in nature rather than medically related, so she prayed for A.P. during her seizure. In her deposition, plaintiff stated that when A.P. went into the seizure, she began to speak a different language and “come up off the floor.” Plaintiff admitted praying for A.P. during the seizure and pouring water on A.P.’s mouth. Plaintiff testified that she poured water on A.P.’s mouth to prevent her from swallowing her tongue, but later stated that she did not hold A.P.’s mouth open because A.P. did not appeared to be in any danger of swallowing her tongue. Plaintiff admitted that while she was sprinkling water on A.P.’s mouth, she stated, “Lord help her in the name of Jesus, bind everything that’s not like you, Satan the Lord rebuke you, loose your hold now.” The seizure lasted for approximately twenty to twenty-five minutes, during which time A.P.’s son periodically entered the room and plaintiff assured him that his mother would be fine. After A.P.’s seizure ended, plaintiff explained to her that her behavior appeared to be demonic and that she should pray about the situation.

Approximately one week later, A.P. contacted the CPS office and told plaintiff’s supervisor, Jan Kuirsky, that plaintiff had performed religious acts on her. During the course of several conversations with Kuirsky, A.P. complained that during her seizure, plaintiff laid her on the floor, pushed on her stomach, threw up on her, sprinkled water on her face, and told her that she had to drive the demons out of her. A.P. said that, after the seizure, plaintiff told her that she would return another time to finish driving out the demons. A.P. indicated that she had not given plaintiff permission to touch her or pray for her and that her son was terrified because of the incident. A.P.’s son told Kuirsky that he had given plaintiff water and a paper towel while plaintiff was trying to drive the demons out of his mother. In plaintiff’s answers to interrogatories, she denied that A.P. threw up or that plaintiff pushed on A.P.’s stomach and threw up on her. Plaintiff also denied telling A.P. that she would come back at another time to finish driving the demons out of her.
FIA fired Howard and she sued claiming the termination was due to religious discrimination. Fortunately, the Michigan Supreme Court opinion linked above finds that was not the cause of her termination.

I wonder if Dobson and his crowd would like these judges replaced?

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