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Charitable Immunity Law and Sexual Misconduct

Does a charitable immunity law protect from liability for sexual misconduct?

• A New York court ruled that a "charitable immunity" law granting limited legal immunity to the uncompensated directors of a nonprofit organization did not protect a church's trustees from liability for the sexual misconduct of their minister. An unincorporated church and its trustees were sued as a result of their minister's alleged rape of a number of minor females in the church. Among other things, the lawsuit alleged that the church and trustees were responsible for the victims' suffering as a result of their "negligent supervision" of the minister's actions. In their defense, the trustees relied on a state law granting uncompensated directors of nonprofit organizations limited immunity from liability for their actions. The court rejected this defense for two reasons: "The [trustees] did not present presumptive evidence of uncompensated status in that they did not present an affidavit ...

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  • May 1, 1992

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