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Sexual Misconduct by Clergy and Church Workers - Part 1

A New York court ruled that a church and denominational agency were not liable for a pastor's acts of child molestation.

Key point 10-02.3. Churches can be legally responsible on the basis of the respondeat superior doctrine for the actions of their employees only if those actions are committed within the course of employment and further the mission and functions of the church. Intentional and self-serving acts of church employees often will not satisfy this standard.
Key point 10-09.2. Some courts have found churches not liable on the basis of negligent supervision for a worker's acts of child molestation on the ground that the church exercised reasonable care in the supervision of the victim and of its own programs and activities.
Negligence as a Basis for Liability

* A New York court ruled that a church and denominational agency were not liable for a pastor's acts of child molestation because it had no knowledge of any previous similar acts. An alleged victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest ...

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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:
  • May 1, 2003

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