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A Nearly $22 Million Verdict for Sexual Abuse Not Excessive, Affirms Federal Appeals Court

Churches should understand that a single incident of child abuse can expose a church to damages far in excess of its insurance coverage.

Key point 10-04. A church may be liable on the basis of negligent selection for a worker’s molestation of a minor if the church was negligent in the selection of the worker. Negligence means a failure to exercise reasonable care, and so negligent selection refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care in the selection of the worker. Liability based on negligent selection may be imposed upon a church for the acts of employees and volunteers.

Key point 10-04.3. Churches can reduce the risk of liability based on negligent selection for the sexual molestation of minors by adopting risk management policies and procedures.

A federal appeals court ruled that a $21 million verdict against a teacher and private Jewish school for the teacher’s sexual molestation of a student was not excessive and would not be overturned.

Psychologist: the victim suffered from PTSD due to abuse

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • June 29, 2020

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