January 24, 2005

A State Supreme Court Opinion Allows a Clergy Child Sex Abuse Case to Go Forward, But Makes a Mess of Tort Law in the Process



Monday, Jan. 24, 2005

Last week, the Supreme Court of Tennessee reinstated a clergy child sex abuse lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that the Diocese should be held liable for injuries caused by a former priest, even though who was not in the employ of the church when he molested two young boys.

The suit - entitled John Doe 1 ex. rel., Jane Doe 1, et. al. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville, et al. - will now go forward in state trial court unless, of course, a settlement is reached.

Given the facts of the case, it is easy to see what the court wanted to give the plaintiffs a chance to go before a jury. The Tennessee Supreme Court's decision might have been motivated by sympathy, but along the way it made a mess of the tort law.

Posted by kshaw at January 24, 2005 06:22 AM