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Pastor, Church & Law

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

Court Decisions Recognizing Negligent Supervision Claims

Volume 4 . Chapter 10 . § 10-10.1
Key point 10-10.1. Some courts have found churches liable on the basis of negligent supervision for a minister's acts of sexual misconduct involving adult church members on the ground that the church failed to exercise reasonable care in the supervision of the minister.

This section reviews court decisions in which a church or other religious organization was found liable on the basis of negligent supervision for a minister's acts of sexual misconduct.

Case Studies

• The Colorado Supreme Court found an Episcopal diocese and bishop legally responsible for a pastor's sexual misconduct with a female parishioner on the basis of a number of grounds, including negligent supervision. The court observed, "An employer may therefore be subject to liability ...

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