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National Church Not Liable for Missionary's Molestation of a Minor

Churches liable for employees' misdeeds if they were negligent in selecting, retaining or supervising staff members.

Key Point 10-05. A church may be liable on the basis of negligent selection for a worker's molestation of an adult if the church was negligent in the selection of the worker. Negligence means a failure to exercise reasonable care, and so negligent selection refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care in the selection of the worker. Liability based on negligent selection may be imposed upon a church for the acts of employees and volunteers.

Key Point 10-05.2. Some courts have found churches not liable on the basis of negligent selection for the sexual misconduct of a minister or other church worker involving another adult since the church exercised reasonable care in the selection of the worker.

A federal court in Kentucky ruled that a national church was not liable on the basis of negligent hiring or supervision for the sexual molestation of a minor by one of its missionaries since it ...

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Posted:
  • November 1, 2008

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