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Diocese Not Responsible for Priest's Driving

Priest's accident occurred outside his scope of employment.

Key point: A church is not responsible for injuries caused by its minister's negligent driving unless the minister was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident.

• A Louisiana court ruled that a Catholic diocese was not legally responsible for injuries caused by a priest's negligent driving since the priest was not acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident. A priest, on his day off, was driving home in his own vehicle after having visited an elderly church member. While driving at 50 miles per hour on a state highway the priest struck an 8-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle. The boy had been visible for about 500 feet, and the priest failed to slow down because he was "fascinated" by the boy's erratic driving. The boy was struggling to control the slightly oversized bicycle that he had received as a gift at Christmas ...

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Posted:
  • November 1, 1995

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