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Can you sue the church for clergy sexual abuse?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Clergy Abuse

Survivors of clergy sexual abuse often grapple with feelings of shame and guilt, which can make it difficult to come forward and report their experiences. As a result, most victims endure lasting emotional, physiological and physical trauma.

If you or a loved one has suffered from such abuse, you may wonder whether it’s possible to sue the church responsible for the clergy member.  The short answer is yes, you can sue the church for clergy sexual misconduct in Louisiana.

Holding the church accountable

You can sue the church on several grounds, depending on the particulars of your situation. They include:

  • Negligent supervision if the church failed to adequately supervise the clergy member or ignored warning signs of sexual misconduct
  • Negligent hiring or retention if the church employed or retained a clergy member despite knowing or having reason to know about their abusive behavior
  • The negligent actions of its employees conducted within the scope of their duties

A lawsuit against the church is like any other civil lawsuit. The typical steps involved include filing a complaint, the discovery phase, where both sides exchange relevant information or evidence and settlement negotiations. The case could even go to trial if settlement negotiations prove unsuccessful.

You may recover various damages if you prevail in your case, like the cost of medical care for counseling and therapy to deal with the emotional trauma, emotional distress and a reduced quality of life caused by the abuse, among others.

Seek legal guidance

Pursuing legal action against a religious institution can be intimidating, but it’s a crucial step toward getting justice and finding closure. It’s never too late. Reaching out for legal guidance can help you understand your rights and navigate the legal process.