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Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

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

Intervening Cause

§ 10.16.03
Key point 10-16.03. A church is not legally responsible for an injury that occurs on its premises or in the course of one of its activities if the injury resulted from the intervention of a new and independent cause that was unforeseeable.

Many courts have ruled that a person's negligence is not the legal cause of an injury that results from the intervention of a new and independent cause that is (1) neither anticipated nor reasonably foreseeable, (2) not a consequence of his or her negligence, (3) not controlled by him or her, and (4) the actual cause of the injury in the sense that the injury would not have occurred without it. If an intervening cause meets these conditions, it is considered a "superseding" cause that eliminates the original wrongdoer's liability.

To illustrate, a superseding, intervening cause was found to have insulated the original wrongdoer from liability ...

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