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Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA
8950 Dr. MLK Jr. Street North Suite 160
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
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Possible Liability for Church Leaders Refusing Vaccination to Continue Ministering

Dear Clients and Friends,

Although I totally respect an individual’s choice not to be Covid-19 vaccinated there may be a liability issue for your ministry by allowing them to continue serving. Although this is simply my opinion, and I am not aware of any court case yet here is the possible scenario:

A pastor has an active church leader who volunteers ministering to people by close contact such as serving food or praying with them. The church leader has disclosed to the pastor he or she for religious or medical reasons refuses to be vaccinated. Knowing this the Pastor does not restrict his access to the public and continues allowing him/her to serve. Additionally, not requiring him to wear a mask.

Question: does the church have legal liability if the ministry has been informed of the refusal to be vaccinated but still allows them to continue unimpeded ministering to the membership and the public?

The allegation is the volunteer has passed on the Virus to someone who is now hospitalized and has a lot of medical bills and seeks relief. Understanding the victim would most likely need to prove he or she acquired the virus at the church “within a reasonable degree of medical probability”, which may be the standard. I would say it would be very difficult to prove but what if he or she can? I can foresee plaintiff attorneys arguing the church knew of the risk by being informed but still allowed the volunteer to continue ministering unvaccinated anyway resulting in the claim.

Only time will tell. I hope not. It is just a thought.

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