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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Court Decisions Recognizing Vicarious Liability

Volume 4 . Chapter 10 . § 10-18.1
Key point 10-18.1. Some courts have found denominational agencies liable for the acts of affiliated ministers and churches on the basis of a number of grounds, including negligence and agency.

This subsection addresses the "secondary" liability of denominational agencies for the acts and obligations of affiliated churches, ministers, and lay workers. This form of liability is sometimes referred to as "ascending liability." Denominations also are subject to direct liability for their own acts, and this kind of liability is addressed previously in this and other chapters.

In a small number of cases, the civil courts have found denominational agencies liable for the acts and obligations of affiliated churches, agencies, clergy, and lay workers. ...

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