Melbourne, Australia, Jan 21, 2022 / 07:00 am
In a ruling believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, a judge has found a Catholic diocese vicariously liable for clerical abuse.
A judgment issued on Dec. 22 by Justice John Forrest in the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne held that the Diocese of Ballarat was vicariously liable for the conduct of Father Bryan Coffey.
The Legal Information Institute defines vicarious liability as the liability that a supervisory party bears for the actionable conduct of a subordinate or associate, based on the relationship between the two parties.
Coffey, who was convicted of child abuse in 1999 and given a three-year suspended sentence, died in 2013.