Clergy abuse, or church abuse, is the physical or sexually unwanted touching by a priest, pastor, or person in authority, such as an elder or deacon, that occurs on church premises and without the consent of the person being touched.
In many instances, the victim or survivor of clergy abuse can file a personal injury lawsuit against the church to obtain compensation for the wrongs done to them. Through a legal theory known as vicarious liability, the ministers, priests, and persons in a position of authority at the church act as an agent of the church body itself. Therefore, the actions of persons in authority reflect the church organization as a whole.
Types of Injuries
In many cases, there is physical, mental, and emotional trauma that is caused by these sorts of encounters and predatorial behaviors. There are many causes for action, including intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault, false imprisonment, and many other claims.
Statute of Limitations
Each state has a different statute of limitations on the different causes of action which can be brought. In many of these instances, the perpetrator was a person in a position of authority for the church and the victim is someone who was a minor at the time. Because of this, there is what is known as a look-back window, which allows the victim to extend the period of time in which the statute of limitations would have expired so that they may bring a claim against the clergy who abused them.
Michael Brady Lynch Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured by a person in a position of authority at a church, you may be eligible for compensation for damages. Please contact us at the Michael Brady Lynch Firm at 888-585-5970.