FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Contact: Nancy O'Meara
Church of Scientology
Wilson, Ryan & Campilongo
JUDGE ORDERS MARIN COUNTY MAN TO PAY CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
$100, 000 IN DAMAGES
FINES HIM AND HIS LAWYER FOR BAD FAITH TACTICS
Maria County -- Judge Gary Thomas of the Marin County
Superior Court awarded Gerald Armstrong of San Anselmo to
pay the plaintiff, the Church of Scientology International,
$100,000 in damages for breaking provisions of a 1986
settlement agreement he signed with the Church. The ruling,
issued Friday, January 27, also sanctioned Armstrong and
his lawyer, Ford Greene also of San Anselmo, for engaging in
"bad faith" litigation and fined them $700.
This is the latest in a string of legal wins for the
Church against Armstrong who has been in and out of court
since he stole more than 10,000 documents from the Church in
1982 including over 5,000 papers of Scientology founder L.
In the agreement he signed in 1986 Armstrong promised
to refrain from spreading falsehoods about the Church.
According to documents filed in this case, Armstrong is
accused of having knowlingly violated that agreement on a
number of occasionsas early as 1991. The Church sued in
1992 after Armstrong repeatedly refused to abide by the
contract he had signed. Judge Thomas' ruling was based on
documents filed in support of the Church's charges and
regarded two of the earliest reported breaches by Armstrong.
The Church's lawyers, Andrew Wilson (San Francisco)
and Laurie Bartilson (Los Angeles) called the judgment "a
complete legal and moral victory. It sends a message that
you can't ignore your contractual obligations on a whim and
that there's a price to pay for breaking promises. We hope
this ruling will give Mr. Armstrong a message he will heed."
Armstrong conceivably faces more extensive liability
in this litigation, as the Church has asserted 18
additional claims against him. Thse, too, arise out of
his violations of the 1986 agreement according to the
Church's lawsuit. The Church has also charged that Gerald
Armstrong fraudulently transferred title of a house he
owned in order to manufacture a poverty plea against the
judgements now starting to be entered against him.