Jim Bakker, his church settle lawsuit over COVID-19 claims

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O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Jim Bakker and his southwestern Missouri church pays restitution of $156,000 to settle a lawsuit that accuses the TV pastor of falsely claiming {that a} well being complement may remedy the coronavirus.

Missouri court docket information present {that a} settlement settlement was filed Tuesday. It requires refunds to individuals who paid cash or gave contributions to acquire a product often known as Silver Resolution within the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The settlement additionally prohibits Bakker and Morningside Church Productions Inc. from promoting or promoting Silver Resolution “to diagnose, forestall, mitigate, deal with or remedy any illness or sickness.” Bakker, within the settlement, doesn’t admit wrongdoing.

Republican Missouri Legal professional Common Eric Schmitt sued Bakker and Morningside in March 2020. Schmitt sought an injunction ordering Bakker to cease promoting Silver Resolution as a therapy for COVID-19 on his streaming TV program, The Jim Bakker Present. The lawsuit mentioned Bakker and a visitor made the remedy declare throughout 11 episodes in February and March of 2020.

Schmitt mentioned in a information launch on Wednesday that Bakker has already made restitution to many shoppers, and should pay again one other $90,000 to others.

The hour-long Jim Bakker Present is filmed in southwestern Missouri. The consent settlement notes that in this system, Silver Resolution was provided to those that agreed to contribute $80 to $125.

Bakker’s lawyer, former Democratic Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, had beforehand claimed that Bakker was being unfairly focused “by those that wish to crush his ministry and power his Christian tv program off the air.” Nixon, who served two phrases as governor from 2009 to 2017 and is now a associate on the Dowd Bennett regulation agency in St. Louis, mentioned Bakker didn’t declare that Silver Resolution was a remedy for COVID-19.

An electronic mail message left Wednesday with Nixon was not instantly returned.

Additionally in March 2020, U.S. regulators warned Bakker’s firm and 6 others to cease promoting objects utilizing what the federal government known as false claims that they may deal with the coronavirus or preserve folks from catching it. Letters despatched collectively by the Meals and Drug Administration and the Federal Commerce Fee warned the businesses that their merchandise for treating COVID-19 had been fraudulent, “pose important dangers to affected person well being and violate federal regulation.”

Nixon mentioned Bakker instantly complied with orders to cease providing Silver Resolution on his present and ministry web site after receiving the warning letters from the FDA and FTC.

In the meantime, Arkansas’ lawyer normal filed a lawsuit just like Missouri’s in June 2020. That case continues to be pending.

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