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Court Denies Lawsuit Against Clergy for Malpractice

Husband claimed priest's affair with his wife led to her suicide.

Key point: In many states, a husband is barred from suing a minister for seducing his wife. The husband also may be barred from suing the minister's employing church and parent denomination.

• A Louisiana court ruled that an Episcopal diocese was not legally responsible for the suicide of a woman allegedly caused by a sexual relationship with an Episcopal priest. The husband of a woman who committed suicide sued a priest and diocese, claiming that his wife's suicide had been caused by the sexual misconduct of the priest. The priest was also a physician, but the husband alleged that the priest was acting in his role as a clergyman when he engaged in a counseling relationship with the victim. The husband's lawsuit alleged that the priest was guilty of malpractice by taking advantage of an emotionally dependent woman and then abusing his position of trust to engage in sexual intercourse ...

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  • November 1, 1995

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