Lakewood Church, Joel Osteen facing lawsuit after family says young child hurt during service

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Lakewood Church is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a family who claims their young daughter was injured at the church.

The family filed the lawsuit last August claiming that Victoria Wedderburn, who was 18 months old at the time, suffered bodily injury in May 2014.

Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church, is named in the court documents. The church representative is referred to only as Joe Doe.

Osteen, who is no stranger to controversy, and his megachurch, one of the largest in the country, are once again at the center of another legal issue.

According to court documents, the Wedderburn family was attending a church service at Lakewood when a church representative "grabbed a child safety seat with daughter in it and threw the seat off the church pew. The child landed face first on the floor." 

The representative, referred to as Joe Doe No. 1, then fled the scene, the lawsuit said.

The family claims that Victoria "sustained serious and severe injuries to her body causing physical impairment and mental anguish."

The family wants Lakewood Church and Osteen to reimburse them for all past and future medical expenses.

KPRC2 contacted the family for a comment. Their attorney said the family was dedicated to the church, and because of the incident, they left Texas and no longer want to live here.

A spokesperson with Lakewood Church said its security team did a thorough investigation and there were no witnesses to back up the story. The spokesperson said it was a made-up story and the church's insurance company handled it. 

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