Vicarious liability for sexual abuse again: Hugh Kennedy – Law & Religion UK

Posted December 16th, 2021 in clergy, news, Scotland, sexual offences, teachers, trusts, vicarious liability by sally

‘In Hugh Kennedy against (First) The Right Reverend Paul Bonnici, (Second) The Right Reverend James Warren Cuthbert Madden and (Third) Denis Alexander [2021] ScotCS CSOH 106, the pursuer brought an action for personal injury as a consequence of alleged sexual and physical abuse which, he averred, he had suffered while he was a boarder in the mid-1970s at Fort Augustus Boarding School. The school, which was run by a Benedictine community, had closed nearly 30 years ago, the trust associated with the community’s Abbey had been wound up some ten years ago and the then trustees may have been discharged. The trustees at the material time were all dead. The pursuer averred that, nevertheless, the then trustees had held indemnity insurance in respect of his claim and he sued the two surviving trustees for the purposes of meeting his claim from the trust estate comprised of the (presumed) right of indemnity under that insurance [1]. He claimed that the third defender, Denis Alexander, a monk and teacher at the school, had been his principal abuser and that he had also been abused by two lay teachers, both now dead [2]. In July 2021, Alexander had been convicted inter alia of lewd and libidinous conduct against the pursuer [4] and sentenced to four years and five months imprisonment.’

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Law & Religion UK, 14th December 2021