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When The Duggar Sisters Could Finally Settle Their Molestation Report Lawsuit

While Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial and conviction really dominated the news over the last several months, there’s actually been another Duggar case that’s been in the works since 2017. That would be a lawsuit filed by several of the Duggar sisters over the release of the molestation report that ended 19 Kids and Counting. Now we know when Jessa, Jill, Jinger and Joy-Anna may ultimately settle the suit. 

Back in 2017, the four Duggar siblings filed a lawsuit against varying factions over the release of the molestation report that revealed that Josh Duggar had touched several young women, including a few of his sisters, years before the report’s release. The report had been released to In Touch magazine in 2015 as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, despite the family believing the records had been sealed. It wasn’t just the sisters who sued; Josh Duggar had previously filed his own lawsuit, which ultimately did not go forward. He later also lost an appeal. To note though, the Duggar sisters are suing based on the argument they were victims of the abuse and the impact the release of the report had on their lives and careers. 

When The Duggar Lawsuit Could Be Settled

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the lawsuit filed by the young women against the city of Springdale and various others, you may already know that a trial was actually scheduled to happen during the same week that Josh Duggar’s infamous trial was being held. Due to the related conflict, ultimately the Duggar sisters’ case was postponed and has not moved forward yet. But there is reason to believe it may not actually go to trial at all. 

In fact, according to a report from the local Fox affiliate KNWA a conference has been called on February 10 that could determine the outcome of the lawsuit. That conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. that day and a “settlement statement” is due on the matter at least one week prior to the aforementioned date and time. Magistrate Judge Christy D. Comstock will oversee the conference, and if all goes well, that could be the end of things.

If efforts to come to an agreement over a settlement fail during the course of the February 10 conference, the lawsuit will be going to trial. That date has already been rescheduled after being shifted in late 2021 to April 18, 2022. There’s a separate due date on April 4, 2022 in which “exhibit lists” and “final witnesses” would be due. 

The four Duggar sisters were originally suing a longer list of defendants, but six of the defendants on the initial suit were previously removed. Now, Jessa Duggar Seewald, Jill Duggar Dillard, Jinger Duggar Vuolo, and Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth are only suing the City of Springdale, Washington County, Kathy O’Kelley, Rick Hoyt, Steve Zega, and Ernest Cate over “invasion of privacy,” among other allegations. 

It is worth noting that the release of the report in 2015 led to the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting on TLC. The network soon after chose to put the Duggar ladies back on television via a spinoff Jill And Jessa: Counting On, which later simply became known as Counting On. That spinoff would also be cancelled by TLC after news broke that Josh Duggar had been arrested on child pornography charges, though he had not appeared in the spinoff series. 

Josh Duggar was found guilty on both counts of receiving and possessing child pornography, though his sentencing is not expected to come down until at least April of this year, which is around the time this other trial could be getting into full swing. That is, if it makes it past the settlement portion, of course. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as the specifics of the suit play out. 

Jessica Rawden
Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.