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Broderick v. King's Way Assembly of God Church

808 P.2d 1211 (1991)

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Broderick v. King’s Way Assembly of God Church

Alaska Supreme Court

808 P.2d 1211 (1991)

Facts

Judith Broderick (plaintiff) left her three-year-old daughter, JSJ, with Shirley Gilman (defendant) as part of a childcare program at King’s Way Assembly of God Church (King’s Way) (defendant). JSJ began showing signs of having been sexually abused. Broderick asked JSJ if her father, her grandparents, or Broderick’s boyfriend had been the abuser, but JSJ said that “the mean lady at the church” had done it. When JSJ saw Gilman at the church, she reacted immediately to Gilman’s presence and said Gilman was “the mean lady” and “that’s the lady that hurt my wee-wee.” JSJ also confirmed that Gilman was her abuser to Broderick’s boyfriend and a child psychologist. On behalf of JSJ, Broderick sued Gilman and King’s Way for sexual abuse. The only evidence that Gilman was JSJ’s abuser was JSJ’s out-of-court identification. The trial court ruled that the identification was hearsay that did not meet any of the exceptions listed in the rules and excluded it. Because there was no admissible evidence that Gilman was the abuser, the trial court granted summary judgment for Gilman and King’s Way. Broderick appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Burke, J.)

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