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Recent Developments in Alabama Regarding Sexual Misconduct by Clergy and Church Workers

An Alabama court ruled that a school was not liable for a teacher's acts of child molestation since it conducted a thorough background check before hiring him and did not violate its written policies.

Alabama
State:
Key point. Conducting a background check before hiring a teacher or youth worker can reduce if not eliminate an organization's liability for negligent hiring.

An Alabama court ruled that a school was not liable for a teacher's acts of child molestation since it conducted a thorough background check before hiring him and did not violate its written policies. A male student at private high school was molested by a teacher during a school camping trip, and several weeks later when he visited the teacher's home. The student sued the school, claiming that it was responsible for his injuries on the basis of negligent hiring and negligent supervision. The court disagreed. It noted that the school had conducted a thorough background check on the teacher before hiring him. Further, school officials were not aware of the molestation until after it occurred.

The court rejected the student's ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • January 1, 1999

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