Domonique “Nikki” Smith

CROWN POINT, IN (June 20, 2017)–Lake Superior chief judge John R. Pera denied Family Christian Center and the megachurch pastors, Steve and Melodye Munsey’s motion to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit of Vicki Olds, mother of Domonique “Nikki” Smith. Smith died of an “accidental drowning” at the Munseys’ private home on May 29, 2015. In their motion, defendants argued that Smith was a church employee, thus her mother’s only remedy was through the worker’s compensation system.

On April 20, family attorney, Trent A. McCain, argued that Smith was an independent contractor not an employee. “The Court looks at ten factors in determining whether a person should be treated as an employee or an independent contractor,” said McCain. “We demonstrated that Nikki was not an employee and that the wrongful death suit should proceed,” added McCain.

McCain said his client is gratified about the judge’s ruling and is happy that now they can pursue the truth about what happened to the 18-year-old honor student. The defendants have been ordered to answer the allegations in the complaint by July 21, 2017 and the next court date has been scheduled for August 16, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

For coverage in the NWI Times, click here.