The Rev. Jimmy Swaggart-run Family Worship Center Church must pay more than $2.8 million to investors who claimed the church crawfished on a 2004 land agreement in order to profit from skyrocketing real estate values after Hurricane Katrina struck southeast Louisiana in 2005, a jury decided Thursday.
The investment group, Health Science Park, had dreamed of relocating Baton Rouge’s charity hospital in north Baton Rouge to Bluebonnet Boulevard land owned by Swaggart’s ministries.
The panel of nine women and three men found unanimously that Family Worship Center breached a November 2004 option agreement that the investors had with the church.
Health Science Park intends to pay $6.7 million for 60-plus acres — about 40 of which is usable — that the church owns. The dream, however, of moving the city’s public hospital to the site is dead. LSU’s Earl K. Long hospital closed in 2013.