Jonny Jacobsen
Infinite Complacency
Thursday, 1 March 2012
Brennan case goes to appeal

Did Scientology’s dogmatic hatred of psychiatry contribute to the death of a vulnerable, 20-year-old? That is the central question in a lawsuit filed to the Florida appeal court last month.

Five years after the death of a mentally troubled 20-year-old student while visiting his Scientologist father, a wrongful death lawsuit brought by his mother is back in court.

Kyle Brennan was found dead, shot in the head with a bullet from his father’s 357 Magnum pistol. He died at his father’s apartment in Clearwater Florida, on or around February 16.

On February 16 this year, Florida attorney Luke Lirot filed the latest papers on behalf of Kyle’s mother Victoria Britton.

He was appealing a district court’s dismissal of the lawsuit against Thomas Brennan – Kyle’s Scientologist father – two other Scientologists and the Scientology’s Florida operation.

At issue is whether Scientology’s dogmatic hatred of psychiatry and psychiatric drugs led to Kyle being deprived of medication vital to his mental and emotional stability – but also whether the judge had the right to throw out the case without letting a jury consider the evidence.

Lirot has come late the case and, as he makes clear in his appeal filing, by the time he arrived it had already acquired the procedural stigmata associated with Scientology-related litigation.

He replaced colleague Ken Dandar, best known for having represented the estate of Lisa McPherson in a successful lawsuit against Scientology.
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