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School Not Responsible for Student’s Suicide

Court ruled that a parochial school was not responsible for the suicide of a freshman student who was a victim of relentless bullying.

Last Reviewed: March 15, 2021
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.
Key point 10-17.1. Punitive damages are monetary damages awarded by a jury "in addition to compensation for a loss sustained, in order to punish, and make an example of, the wrongdoer." They are awarded when a person's conduct is reprehensible and outrageous. Most church insurance policies exclude punitive damages. This means that a jury award of punitive damages represents an uninsured risk.
Editor's note: The following Recent Development contains offensive slurs regarding sexual orientation. These details are facts from the case and are included here to help church leaders understand both the nature and severity of the situation, and the types of factors that can contribute to potential ...

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  • April 18, 2018
  • Last Reviewed: March 15, 2021