As things gear up for a possible lawsuit in the coming weeks against Bob Malm, Grace Episcopal Church, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, a recent state Supreme Court spells bad news for the potential defendants.
In a nearly unanimous decision, the court overturned a lower court dismissal of a tortious claim of negligence against the the denomination, the Church of God in Christ; and against local church officials for negligence and respondent superior, based on allegations that church officials had a special relationship with the plaintiff and had failed in their duty of care to her. As a result, the case is going forward.
In the case of Bob Malm and Grace Episcopal Church, diocesan officials knew of Bob Malm’s deliberate misuse of funds, but declined to act. Moreover, they have been fully apprised of Malm’s perjury and other tortious acts, but have consistently covered up and ignored Malm’s actions. As a result, should the case go to trial, the diocese likely will be held liable.
The court’s decision can be found at https://law.justia.com/cases/virginia/supreme-court/2019/180520.html.