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Church Liability for the Sexual Misconduct of Ministers

Church and denominational agency not responsible for pastor's misconduct

Church and denominational agency not responsible for pastor's misconduct - Alpharetta First United Methodist Church v. Stewart, 473 S.E.2d 532 (Ga. App. 1996)

[ Negligence as a Basis for Liability, Denominational Liability]

Article summary. A Georgia court addressed the complex legal issues surrounding the sexual seduction of a woman by a pastor in the course of a counseling relationship. The court concluded that a church and denominational agency were not responsible for the woman's injuries on the basis of respondeat superior or negligence, since they had no prior knowledge of misconduct by the offending pastor. The court cautioned that churches and denominational agencies are potentially liable on the basis of negligence for injuries sustained by victims of sexual misconduct if they have knowledge of prior misconduct. However, since the woman could not prove that church officials either ...

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Posted:
  • January 1, 1997

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