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Personal Injuries on Church Property and During Church Activities - Part 5

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a school could be sued by the father of a ninth-grade boy who had been sent home alone on a bus after being caught smoking

Key point 10-06. A church may be legally responsible on the basis of negligent selection for injuries resulting from the acts of a minister or other worker not involving sexual misconduct.
Negligence as a Basis for Liability

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a school could be sued by the father of a ninth-grade boy who had been sent home alone on a bus after being caught smoking a cigarette in a hotel room while on an out-of-town school band trip. It is every youth pastor's nightmare to have a minor on an out-of-town trip who flagrantly violates the rules. In some cases, minors are sent home. Such a decision may expose a church to legal risk, no matter how justified it may seem. Consider a recent case involving a public school in Iowa. The school adopted a "zero tolerance" policy concerning students' use or possession of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. A ninth grader was caught ...

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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:
  • November 3, 2003