Mar 29, 2017 by Will Maule

Joel Osteen Sued After Church Staff 'Body-Slams' Young Child During Service

Houston megachurch pastor Joel Osteen has faced a lawsuit after a child in his congregation was allegedly thrown to the floor by a member of staff. The Wedderburn family of Texas claimed in a lawsuit obtained by Radar that they were attending services at Lakewood Church in Houston on May 7, 2014, when an Osteen employee attacked their daughter, Victoria. 

The family claim that a “representative of the church grabbed a child safety seat in which Victoria Wedderburn, a minor, was sitting and threw the seat off the church pew," according to court documents. Victoria “landed face first on the floor, while still strapped to the safety seat,” they claim, causing “serious bodily injury and extensive mental and emotional damage.”

Vicotria “immediately felt pain in her entire body,” the documents allege. The culprit then reportedly “fled the vicinity!” The Wedderburns alleged that this employee’s behavior was “extreme and outrageous,” and that he “acted intentionally or recklessly,” causing their child “severe emotional distress.”

Osteen responded by saying that the “incident that made the basis of this suit was caused by the actions of third parties over whom the [Osteens] had no control.” He continued, claiming that the church and its employees are “immune from liability” in any lawsuit, because of the protections of the “Charitable Immunity Act.”

Eventually, the Osteen's approved a settlement for $15,000, court filings reveal.

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