Scientology lawsuit forges on

MSNBC, December 18, 1999

CLEARWATER, December 18, 1999 - It could be a year before a Pinellas judge makes a decision whether a critical document in an $80 million lawsuit against the Church of Scientology was forged.

The case stems from the mysterious death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson.

She died from a blood clot in her lung after 17 days in the care of Scientologists at the church's Clearwater headquarters.

The legal question now is whether Lisa's mom signed over permission to the sue the Church of Scientology before her own death two years ago.

Scientology lawyers say Fannie McPherson's signature on a key document is forged. Friday, one of her surviving sisters testified it is not.

One handwriting expert says the signature is real, and another says it's forged.

Lisa McPherson's aunt say her mother wanted Scientology to pay for Lisa's death.

Scientology leaders say church enemies are behind the lawsuit.

A hearing on the matter will continue probably in January.

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