Jump directly to the Content

Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

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

Court Decisions Recognizing Vicarious Liability

§ 10.18.01
Key point 10-18.01. Some courts have found denominational agencies liable for the acts of affiliated ministers and churches on the basis of a number of grounds, including negligence and agency.

This subsection addresses the "secondary" liability of denominational agencies for the acts and obligations of affiliated churches, ministers, and lay workers. This form of liability is sometimes referred to as "vicarious liability" or "ascending liability." Denominations also are subject to direct liability for their own acts, and this kind of liability is addressed previously in this and other chapters.

Some courts have found denominational agencies liable for the acts and obligations of affiliated churches, agencies, clergy, and lay workers. Most of the earlier cases involved liability based on the negligent driving of affiliated clergy. To illustrate, in 1951 the California ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Table of Contents

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.