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YMCA Ordered to Pay "Future Mental Anguish Damages"

Organization held liable for negligent selection for a worker's molestation of a camper.

Key Point 10-04. A church may be liable on the basis of negligent selection for a worker's molestation of a minor 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.

The Texas Supreme Court upheld a jury award of $500,000 for mental suffering in a case involving the sexual molestation of a minor by a counselor at a YMCA summer camp. A 9-year-old boy (the "victim") was sexually molested by his counselor while attending a YMCA summer camp. The counselor was arrested and later confessed to sexually inappropriate conduct with a number of the young campers, including the victim. He claimed that the abuse occurred while ...

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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:
  • July 1, 2009

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