Church’s vicarious liability in Mount Cashel abuse scandal transcends religion, says lawyer

The Lawyer’s Daily, Lexis-Nexis

August 10, 2020

By Terry Davidson

A Newfoundland court’s finding that the Archdiocese of St. John’s is vicariously liable for historical sexual abuse at the former Mount Cashel orphanage should be a warning to entities controlling lower institutions that there is a “continuing legal responsibility” to protect others, says a lawyer involved.

The landmark July 28 decision by the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal in John Doe (G.E.B. #25) v. Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s 2020 NLCA 27 is the latest chapter involving four male plaintiffs who as child residents of the Mount Cashel orphanage suffered sexual abuse at the hands of five members of the Christian Brothers during the 1940s and 1950s.

The Christian Brothers, a group of Irish laymen brought to Newfoundland in the 1870s to teach in Roman Catholic Schools, operated the orphanage.

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