Duty to Protect From Third-Party Harm in Sexual Abuse Cases

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

1:00pm-2:30pm EST, 10:00am-11:30am PST

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, December 17, 2021

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will explore the standards applied by courts to determine who may face civil liability for physical or sexual abuse perpetrated by third parties. The panel will discuss the duty of care to protect victims from third-party harm, how these standards are argued and applied in various jurisdictions, and the role of policy considerations in assessing the existence of the duty and ultimate liability.


The applicable duty of care to prevent or protect against harm caused by a third-party perpetrator is a particularly significant inquiry. Sexual abuse, harassment, and similar lawsuits are tragically commonplace against all categories of defendants as plaintiffs seek damages from individuals and entities that allegedly employed, supervised, regulated, or otherwise had a relationship with a perpetrator who physically or sexually abused others.

Under the common law, the duty to protect from third-party harm is traditionally a narrow one. However, increasing litigation and media attention on sexual abuse has presented courts with the opportunity to consider various public policy arguments made by plaintiffs seeking to expand the scope of liability. Contemporaneously, many states are extending the statutes of limitation for these types of claims.

Listen as this experienced panel reviews the duty of care to third parties as stated in the Restatement (Third) of Torts and as set forth by the highest courts in various jurisdictions, as well as limitations and expansions of the traditional understanding of this duty.



  1. The traditional scope of the duty to protect
  2. Applicable framework for determining the existence of duty
    1. Restatement (Third) of Torts
    2. Various jurisdictions
  3. Public policy considerations


The panel will review these and other pivotal issues:

  • What is the traditional scope of the duty to prevent harm from third parties?
  • What are the exceptions to the conventional view of "no duty"?
  • How have courts considered public policy factors?
  • What are some potential insurance implications?


Simpson, Heather
Heather E. Simpson

Kennedys Law

Ms. Simpson handles disputes throughout the United States. Her practice focuses on insurance coverage and commercial...  |  Read More

Additional faculty
to be announced.
Attend on January 19

Early Discount (through 12/17/21)

Cannot Attend January 19?

Early Discount (through 12/17/21)

You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video