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Clergy - Part 3


• The Ohio Supreme Court recently addressed the issue of clergy malpractice. Here are the facts. A husband and wife who had been experiencing marital problems went to a Lutheran minister for counseling. They selected him because "he held himself out to the public … as a minister and counselor trained and able to provide counseling for marital difficulties." During the final three or four weeks of counseling, the minister allegedly engaged in consensual sexual relations with the wife. These relations, and the counseling, ended when the husband learned of the affair. The husband, who was later divorced from his wife, sued both the minister and his church. The suit against the minister alleged "clergy malpractice," breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, misrepresentation, nondisclosure, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The suit against the church alleged liability based ...

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  • January 2, 1989