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Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

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

Tort Liability

§ 6.07.01
Key point 6-07.01. Church board members may be personally liable for their own torts (conduct causing personal injury to another). This is so whether or not the church is incorporated.

Perhaps the most common basis of legal liability relates to the commission of torts. A "tort" is a civil wrong, other than a breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy. Common examples include negligence (e.g., careless operation of a church-owned vehicle), defamation, fraud, copyright infringement, and wrongful termination of employees.

Generally, the directors and officers of a nonprofit corporation do not incur personal liability for the corporation's torts merely by reason of their official position. Rather, they will be liable only for those torts that they commit, direct, or participate in, even though the corporation itself may also be liable. To illustrate, directors in some cases may be ...

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