Man sues church over baptism injury
Published 27/08/2010 | 08:38
A man injured while performing submersion baptisms in the name of the dead sued the Mormon church for medical expenses.
The civil suit filed in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court claims Daniel Dastrup suffered severe back injuries, including a herniated disk, after performing about 200 baptisms at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) temple in Raleigh, North Carolina, on August 25 2007.
The lawsuit contends the church was negligent in failing to warn Mr Dastrup that the repetitive nature of the proxy baptisms - bending, lifting and twisting - could result in physical injury.
"The church owed the plaintiffs a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid injury to the plaintiffs from the services they performed to the church," the lawsuit states.
Mr Dastrup, who now lives in Las Vegas, claims he has suffered "a significant permanent injury that substantially changes his lifestyle", including damaging his relationship with his wife.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages to compensate Mr Dastrup to cover medical costs and loss of earnings.
"Honestly, we're puzzled by this," LDS church spokesman Scott Trotter said in a statement.
"We have been unable to validate Mr Dastrup's claims, but since he is representing himself in this matter, we will need to respond to this directly through the courts."
In the documents, Mr Dastrup claims the proxy baptism ceremonies required him to immerse young men and women under water.
https://www.lds.org.uk/(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)