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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Legal Briefs

Volume 4 . Chapter 10

Churches are exposed to legal liability as a result of a number of acts and omissions, many of which have been addressed in previous chapters. This chapter addresses church liability based on four types of negligence—vicarious liability for the negligence of employees; negligent selection; negligent retention; and negligent supervision, plus liability based on counseling, breach of fiduciary duty, ratification, and defamation.

Negligence refers to conduct that creates an unreasonable and foreseeable risk of harm to another's person or property, and that in fact results in the foreseeable harm. Churches can be liable on the basis of negligence in a variety of ways, four of which are addressed in this chapter. To illustrate, churches can ...

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