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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Pleasant Glade Assembly of God church, two of its pastors and several church members appealed a judgment against them based on a jury verdict in favor of a former church member, Laura Schubert, for assault and battery and false imprisonment. Appellants assert they should not be held liable for Laura’s damages because they were acting in loco parentis and as good Samaritans. They also complain that the damages awarded by the jury were not foreseeable and that the trial court improperly admitted medical evidence concerning Laura’s post-traumatic stress disorder. Finally, appellants contend that the judgment should be reversed because there is no clear and convincing evidence, as required by the First Amendment, that they acted with malice. The case arose out of the following facts: Tom and Judy Schubert went out of town for a long weekend, leaving their three teenage children home alone. While the Schuberts were away, their middle child, 17-year-old Laura, spent much of her time at the family’s church, Pleasant Glade Assembly of God, participating in church-related activities. Laura collapsed following the evening service on Sunday, and several church members, including appellants, felt it necessary to physically restrain her. The record showed that, after her collapse, Laura clenched her fists tightly, gritted her teeth, foamed at the mouth, made guttural noises, cried, yelled, kicked, sweated and hallucinated. The parties sharply disagreed, however, over whether these things were the cause or the result of appellants’ attempts to restrain her. The parties also disagree over the amount of force used to restrain Laura and whether she was restrained for minutes or hours. There was evidence that Laura’s collapse and her reaction to being restrained could have been due to the medical condition hypoglycemia. Appellants did not know this at the time, however, and some of them believed that Laura’s actions were a dramatic ploy for attention from members of the church’s youth group. None of appellants sought medical attention for Laura, and there was conflicting evidence concerning whether any of them attempted to check her vital signs or determine whether she was feeling all right. A similar episode happened the following Wednesday, after Laura’s parents had returned. They were summoned and they took her home. Laura suffered carpet burns, a scrape on her back, and bruises on her wrists and shoulders as a result of her experiences. Laura’s parents did not, however, seek medical attention for her physical injuries. A little over a week later, Laura began to experience nightmares about her experiences at the church. She began counseling, was excused from school, and claimed to be depressed and suicidal as a result of the experiences at the church. Five months after the incidents, Laura was first diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Within a year after the incidents, several other doctors had also made this diagnosis and a diagnosis of acute stress disorder. The jury found appellants liable for assault and battery and false imprisonment and awarded Laura damages for past physical pain and mental anguish in the sum of $150,000, past and future loss of earning capacity in the sum of $122,000, and past and future medical care in the sum of $28,000, for a total recovery of $300,000. After the trial court overruled appellants’ motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, their appeal followed. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered in part and affirmed in part. In their first issue, appellants complain that the trial court improperly denied their motions for a directed verdict and for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the ground that they are immune from liability for Laura’s assault and battery and false imprisonment claims because they stood in loco parentis as to Laura during the incidents and acted with the “reasonable belief” that their actions were necessary to restrain her. But the court finds that the defining characteristics of in loco parentis are not present because appellants were in merely temporary supervisory situations regarding Laura, not the types of circumstances that give rise to the in loco parentis status. Further, the record shows that Laura was primarily responsible for her own care and was not in the custody of anyone in particular while the Schuberts were out of town. In their second issue, appellants contend that the trial court erred by denying their motion for a directed verdict based on the good Samaritan statute, which provides that a person who in good faith administers emergency care is not liable in civil damages for an act performed during the emergency unless the act is willfully and wantonly negligent. But the court finds that the record does not show that appellants believed the episodes involved an emergency because they moved Laura from the church sanctuary, where she had collapsed initially, to a Sunday school room and stated that they believed her actions were a dramatic ploy for attention from other members of the youth group. The court therefore holds that appellants did not conclusively establish their right to a directed verdict based on the good Samaritan statute. In their third issue, appellants contend that the trial court erred by denying their request for a directed verdict on the issue of mental anguish and loss of earning capacity damages because there is no evidence that those damages were foreseeable. The court disagrees and holds that because there is evidence from Laura’s medical experts that her mental anguish and need for medical care resulted directly from appellant’s intentional conduct, appellants are liable to Laura for these damages regardless of whether they were contemplated, foreseen or expected. However, the court also holds that, unlike her mental anguish damages, Laura’s loss of earning capacity damages are consequential or special damages, which must be premised upon a finding that they were proximately caused by, and a foreseeable result of, appellants’ wrongful conduct. The court finds that “nothing short of prophetic ken” could have foreseen that Laura would forever lose the ability to pursue a college education and a career as a missionary as a result of appellants’ conduct. Because there is no evidence that would support a finding that Laura’s loss of earning capacity was foreseeable, the court holds that there is no evidence that appellants’ conduct was the proximate cause of Laura’s consequential damages for loss of earning capacity. Thus, the court concludes that the trial court erred by denying appellants’ motion for a directed verdict and awarding Laura damages for loss of earning capacity. In their fourth issue, appellants contend that Laura is not entitled to recover mental anguish damages or the resulting expenses for her medical care because appellants did not act with malice or intend to cause Laura’s injuries. Because the jury found the requisite intent to commit the tortious conduct causing Laura’s mental anguish and other damages, the court holds that neither the appellants’ good motives nor their erroneous beliefs that they were acting rightfully excuse them from liability. Consequently, the court reverses the trial court’s judgment awarding Laura $122,000 in damages for loss of earning capacity and renders judgment that she take nothing on that damages claim. The court affirms the remainder of the trial court’s judgment. OPINION:Cayce, C.J.; Cayce, C.J.; Livingston and Walker, JJ. DISSENT:Livingston, J., dissents in part and without opinion as to issue three.

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