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Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

A federal court in Connecticut ruled that a woman who had been molested by a priest when she was a minor could sue her church.

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.
Negligence as a Basis for Liability
Key point 10-13.1. A few courts have found churches and denominational agencies liable on the basis of a breach of a fiduciary duty for the sexual misconduct of a minister. In some cases, the church or agency is found to be vicariously liable for the minister's breach of a fiduciary duty, but in others the church or agency is found to have breached a fiduciary duty that it had with the victim.

* A federal court in Connecticut ruled that a woman who had been molested by a priest when she was a minor ...

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Posted:
  • January 3, 2005

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