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Hard-handed blessing sees pastor facing premises liability suit

If visitors to any public facility suffer injuries while on the premises, the property owners or tenants might be held responsible. Although it might be unheard of in New York, even a church can be named as a defendant in a premises liability lawsuit. Such a claim was recently filed in another state after a pastor allegedly injured a church-goer who has been a member of the congregation for 15 years.

According to the complaint, a female member of the congregation's choir arrived at the church in March last year. She says the time came during the service for the pastor to bless each congregant, typically involving him lightly touching each person's forehead. However, the plaintiff alleges that the pastor used such force when it was her turn that his touch pushed her backward, causing her to fall and strike her head against the floor.

Court documents indicate that she claims to have lost consciousness and required hospitalization, followed by rehabilitation that lasted for several weeks. She further asserts that she still suffers the consequences of the traumatic brain injuries that were caused by the fall. Both the pastor and the church are named as defendants in the lawsuit, alleging the church failed to ensure the safety of congregants by allowing the pastor to be reckless and negligent during the blessing ceremony.

Anyone in New York who is the victim of hazardous circumstances in public places may take similar legal action as this church-goer took. She seeks recovery of damages, including medical expenses and permanent psychological and physical damages. However, navigating a premises liability claim could be challenging, which is why she would do well to rely on her legal counsel for assistance and support throughout the process.

Source: FindLaw, "Pastor's 'Blessing' Caused Brain Injury, Lawsuit Claims", Molly Zilli, April 25, 2018

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