A Dangerous Legal Precedent

by metatron 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • bebu

    I think it is not a good precedent, if I understand it right. Does this mean that businesses are allowed to be sued if their employees get into an auto accident? It's a 2-edged sword here, and the award is going to come from somewhere... it eventually comes back to the taxpayers...

    However, I'd be happy if the WTS got nervous!


  • Oroborus21


    that is exactly what it means and the usual way that it is applied. Incidently ever wonder why Dominoe's dropped its famous 30 minutes or less guarantee on delivery? Because many of its drivers were maniacs trying to get the pizza there on time and the company faced liability.

    The central question is whether a person is acting IN THE SCOPE of their employment or agency. Driving on business, yes vicarious liability extends to the employer. Driving on your coffee break or taking a side route to pick up your dry cleaning are not within the scope of employment and no vicarious liability would attach.

    Generally speaking, acts which are clearly outside the scope of employment and willful and intentional wrongdoing is typically not going to raise vicarious liability. Thus the highlighted text in the post above referencing the "molestation" and other serious wrongdoings are not likely to qualify or raise vicarious liability. these wrong doings are clearly outside the scope of the agency (or the "job" of being an Elder).

    As for VPA this applies to individuals including Directors and officers of non-profit corporations but it is true, it doesn't apply to the ENTITY itself so in the case presented the Archdiocese itself apparently was found vicariously liable.

    It will be interesting to see if the judgment holds up on appeal.

    With regard to the "Coughln" case. The ONLY references that Google turns up are those few provided by Cultawarness or whatever. I couldn't even find any archived news reports on her death with purportedly occurred on Oct 8, 1998. Apparently the case was settled in 2002 which may be part of the reason, but still there ought to be some record of the settlement being noted or the case being filed but I didn't turn up anything in the Connecticut Superior Ct website.

    I would be interested to know if anyone else turns up anything.


  • zugzwang

    I was serving at Bethel in 1998 and never heard a word about this. With Bethel being the rumor mill that it is it would be a virtual miracle for something like this to happen and for it not to be the subject of gossip the next morning. I'm not saying this didn't happen but if it did the WTS did an incredible job of keeping it quiet around the big house.


  • Oroborus21

    Yeah Zugswang, I find it questionable that the only record of this event seems to be from this anti-cult group.

    I can't believe that if something like this only a few years ago in 1998 and settlement just a few years ago in 2002 that Randy and company would not have been all over this story like ....well you fill in the simile.


  • sf

    This is probably one of the search hits you came upon, maybe not:



  • metatron

    I was in Bethel when one or more suicides occurred and didn't find out until years after I


    In addition, you had the homosexuality of two Governing body members well hidden

    for decades. Bethel is a very weird place


  • metatron

    The lady was delivering a statue of Mary when the accident happened. If that creates

    a 17 million dollar liability, then I think any active, car driving Witness in the US is a potential legal bomb.


  • Heatmiser
    A jury in Milwaukee awarded 17 million bucks to an 82 year old barber

    Was this guy worth the 17 mill? I have seen people be paralized from the neck down, in the prime of their life get less than this.

  • Kenneson

    That seems like an odd decision. The local Scouts meet at our Church. What if someone left the meeting to deliver cookies and was involved in an accident injuring someone, who would be responsible, the driver, the Scouts, the Church or all of them?

  • Oroborus21

    Yeah Metatron,

    but we're not talking about activity behind the curtain....what supposedly went down here was a very public and newsworthy item, I mean just the traffic accident alone should have picked up some local press. There is no obituary listing. No record of the case being filed in Connecticut Superior Ct that I have found.

    All of this stuff, especially the supposed settlement would have been front page on WatctowerINformationService or Randy's websites and probably kicked around on here.

    Very unusual.

    As for this current case, if she was clearly negligent then this isn't too unusual and it might hold up on appeal. As I said many cases have held employees and persons acting officially (agents) on behalf of someone or some entity liable and extended the liability to the employer/entity. But lets wait and see.

    Everyone remembers the Hot Coffee McDonalds case but hardly anyone remembers that on appeal that $30 mill or was it $13 million? got reduced to some paltry sum.


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