Global Cyberattack • Church Carnival Accident • Car Insurance Exemptions: News Roundup
    This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
    Global Cyberattack • Church Carnival Accident • Car Insurance Exemptions: News Roundup

    ‘Unprecedented’ Cyberattack Hits 150 Countries. “President Trump's homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said the unprecedented global cyberattack that has hit more than 200,000 hospitals, corporations, government agencies, and other organizations in 150 countries sends an ‘urgent call for collective action’ by governments throughout the world. . . . Worldwide, the so-called WannaCry attack that emerged Friday, has affected hundreds of thousands of computers by exploiting vulnerabilities in software. . . . When a person logs into a computer that has been hacked, the screen is locked, and a link appears urging the user to pay a ransom of $300 or more to have his or her data restored. . . . [Bossert] added that the US government does not recommend paying the ransom and warned that making a payment to the hackers doesn't guarantee that access to computer files will be restored” (“Unprecedented global cyberattack is ‘an urgent call’ to action, homeland security adviser says,” ABC News).

    Has your church taken steps to prevent a cybersecurity breach? Learn how to address potential risks and vulnerabilities with our downloadable resource Preventing High-Tech Fraud.

    Texas Diocese Sued After Fatal Carnival Accident. “The Catholic Diocese of El Paso is being sued by the family of a teen who was killed in a carnival ride accident last year. Samantha Aguilar, 16, died after being thrown from the Sizzler ride at the St. Thomas Aquinas carnival on April 29, 2016. . . . Two other teens were on the ride when the incident happened. One was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, while the other was not injured. . . . KFOX14 previously reported that city records showed the carnival did not have the proper permits. If the carnival has rides, an amusement ride permit is required. Both of those permits were missing from the St. Thomas Aquinas Carnival record” (“Family of teen killed in church carnival ride accident files lawsuit against diocese,” KFOX14).

    Minimize the risks of your church’s summer youth events with our Safe Youth Trips and Activities resource.

    Missouri Law Allows Religious Exemptions for Car Insurance. “In 2009, Don Meier was a passenger in a dump truck that veered off the highway after a teenage driver crossed the center line. … [Y]ears later [Don and his wife Kathy] are still struggling to pay unpaid medical bills. According to Missouri court records, the Meiers obtained a $489,000 judgment against the teenage driver Jonathan Schrock. According to federal court records, Schrock filed for bankruptcy, listing $489,000 dollars in liabilities. In 2013 the Meiers sued Schrock again and obtained a $3.8 million judgment in their favor. Don and Kathy told News 4 they have never received any money, and Don's medical bills weren't paid by Schrock. … The Meiers learned Schrock attended Mint Hill Mennonite Church where some of the members are opposed to conventional insurance plans. … Under Missouri law, church members opposed to conventional insurance can apply for a certificate of self-insurance. Members of Mint Hill were awarded a certificate, which means they can be self-insured but must carry the state's mandatory minimum coverage limits of $50,000. . . . Missouri State Representative Kevin Engler (R-District 116) chairs the insurance policy committee in Jefferson City. Engler said, ‘We want to protect people's freedoms of religion, but they have to have some responsibility.’ He said it's too late to introduce legislation this year, but he added, ‘Our responsibility as legislators is to make sure the person harmed has a method to seek recovery’” (“Religious exemptions for car insurance legal in Missouri,” KMOV).

    What local cases and rulings may be affecting your church? Check out our interactive Recent Developments map to track the latest updates in your state.

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    This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

    Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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