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.
An Ohio appeals court ruled that a church was not liable, on the basis of negligent supervision, for the choking death of a minor while attending a church camp, since such an accident was not reasonably foreseeable. A minor (the "victim") died from choking and asphyxiation while attending a church camp. It was his 18th birthday. The victim's mother sued the church, claiming that it was responsible for her son's death based on its negligent supervision of the church camp. She claimed that her son had asked her if he could attend the camp, and that she had met with the church's youth pastor to discuss the camp. She specifically asked him about supervision during the camp and was told "not to worry about it, we will take good care of him, he is a good kid." The mother thereafter agreed to let her son attend the camp. While at the three-day camp, the victim called his mother on his 18th birthday and said, "Hey, mom, I'm a man now, I'm 18." His mother reminded him that because he was born at 5:06 p.m., he was not "fully a man until 5:06."