Key point 10-11. A church may be legally responsible on the basis of negligent supervision for injuries resulting from a failure to exercise adequate supervision of its programs and activities.
Negligence as a Basis for Liability
A Texas court ruled that a church was not liable, on the basis of negligent supervision, for injuries suffered by a teenager who broke his neck during a youth activity. A church's youth pastor (Pastor Kevin) organized a back-to-school activity for the church's teenagers, which included a game of "capture the flag." During this game, played in a church member's hay pasture, a 15-year-old boy (the victim) broke his neck while trying to take the flag from two other teenage boys who were holding onto the flag and carrying it toward their team's base. The victim's parents sued the church, claiming that it had been negligent in supervising Pastor Kevin and that its negligence caused the injury. The trial court ruled that the church had not been negligent, and the victim's parents appealed.