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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP   PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION LAWYERS

Issaquah Law Group - Injury Litigation Attorneys

TRUST: Personal injuries are personal. Which is why the attorneys at ILG treat every client and every case differently. Because they are different, and extremely personal. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built on trust. Trust that you will be heard. Trust that you will be protected. Trust that every effort will be made to see justice done in your case. The singular goal of every ILG attorney is to earn and preserve that trust.

EXPERIENCE: ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals and we bring this experience to bear on behalf of our clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents, bus versus pedestrian accidents, defective and dangerous products, medical malpractice, slip/trip and fall accidents, and catastrophic losses due to fire.

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In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

WA Court of Appeals at Div. II: NIED Claim Survives Ecclesiastical Abstention

Erdman v. Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church

Under the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine, you usually let church employment matters be handled by the church. Anything less usually gets you into first amendment no-no zones. Same with this, a church employee who continually questioned her church's guided religious tours as not being in comport with the church's status as a non-profit.

Needless to say, her employment went south. Most of her claims fell under the abstention, with only her negligent supervision and retention claims surviving:

Analyzing this case under Bollard, we first note that the church has not offered a religious justification for Toone's alleged tortious acts. Instead, it has denied that any misconduct occurred and argues that both the ministerial exception and ecclesiastical abstention bar consideration of Erdman's claims. Second, in its employee handbook, the Church specifically recognizes its prohibition against sexual harassment. Third, the Church's Book of Order states that the Session possesses responsibility "to provide for the administration of the program of the church, including. . . fair employment practices." CP at 831. Thus, the Church's employment policies and church doctrine prohibit sexual harassment. Fourth, Erdman's negligent supervision and retention claims and the Church's potential defenses involve a limited, secular inquiry similar to the plaintiff's claims and potential defenses under Bollard.

The First Amendment does not bar Erdman's negligent supervision and retention claims against the Church. Thus, we remand for further proceedings.

 

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