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Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

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


§ 4.01

Negligence is a common basis for clergy liability. Negligence is conduct that creates an unreasonable and foreseeable risk of harm to another person that results in injury. Negligent conduct need not be intentional. It may consist either of a specific act or failure to act. It may be helpful to think of negligence as carelessness.

Although negligence can arise in many ways, it is most often associated with carelessness in the operation of a vehicle. But a minister may create unreasonable risks of harm to others in countless other ways, such as entrusting a dangerous article to one who, because of inexperience or immaturity, cannot safely handle it; authorizing a children's activity or retreat without adequate adult supervision; knowing of a dangerous condition on the church property but failing to correct it; failing to take reasonable action to have ice and snow removed from the church's ...

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