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Man Sues Priest and Archdiocese Over Abuse Suffered as Teen

Court dismissed lawsuit due to lack of support for claims.

Key point. Some courts refuse to hold churches liable for the sexual misconduct of clergy on the basis of respondeat superior, breach of fiduciary duty, or negligence.

A Missouri court ruled that a Catholic archdiocese could not be sued as a result of the molestation of a minor by a priest. A 34—year—old man sued a priest and archdiocese, claiming that the priest had molested him when he was 13 years of age while attending a Catholic parochial school. The victim claimed to have suffered numerous injuries as a result of the priest's acts, including severe emotional distress, lost earnings, sexual addiction and dysfunction, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. When the victim was 32, he unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide and was hospitalized. During his hospitalization, he claimed that he discovered that his emotional problems were the result of the sexual abuse ...

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  • January 1, 1997

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