Thursday, August 26, 2010

Daniel Dastrup Sues LDS Church For Medical Expenses; Injured Back While Performing Baptisms For The Dead In The Raleigh Temple

Both the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune are reporting that Daniel Dastrup is suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for medical expenses incurred after he injured his back in 2007 performing baptisms for the dead at the temple in Raleigh, North Carolina. A good article explaining the origin, justification, and practice of baptism for the dead is available HERE.

Read the four-page suit document HERE.

The suit was filed in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City on Wednesday August 25th, 2010. In 2007, Dastrup, who now hails from Las Vegas, was a volunteer youth leader in his North Carolina ward and was asked to perform baptisms in the Raleigh Temple. On August 25th, 2007, he reported to the temple where he was asked to perform about 200 baptisms. Some of the young men and women he immersed in water weighed as much as 250 pounds. After tiring, he asked the temple officiator to be relieved, but the officiator allegedly refused because he said it would take too long for Dastrup to change into dry clothes. Another man who volunteered twice to relieve Dastrup was refused.

Dastrup allegedly suffered severe pain and could not sit up afterward. He subsequently learned he had a severely herniated disk in his lumbar spine. He's already had two surgeries and expects more in the future. He claims Church officials failed to warn him that "the repetitive motion required for performing baptisms for the dead could cause serious damage to a person's back". Dastrup, who also listed his wife as a plaintiff in the case, claims the injury has affected his relationship with her, and the pain has forced him to quit law school and change his lifestyle. He's seeking unspecified monetary damages. He's also acting as his own attorney. None of the sources address his present Church membership status.

LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter reserved comment pending receipt of information about the case through legal channels.

Despite temptation to do otherwise, I will reserve judgment. But it seems like Daniel Dastrup could have been more assertive. If I'm doing baptisms and my back starts hurting, I'm taking a break with or without permission. Dastrup can expect to have his entire medical history scrutinized during the discovery process to determine whether the baptisms triggered the disk problem, or merely aggravated a pre-existing problem.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The most interesting point about all the articles relating to this case is that not once has anyone mentioned if he is still a member of the Church.

I simply can not imagine anyone in the church telling anyone "you will stay".

It will be interesting to see who else appears as witnesses in this case. Certainly all the "youth" in 2007 are 3 years older.

Let's wait and see what transpires.

Judy Mac said...

I have known Daniel Dastrup and he is a wonderful kind young man,from a very active LDS family. I do not live in Las Vegas any longer but believe he is very active. You will never find such an honest hard working family. I do remember when he developed back problems and how it changed his life. It's very sad because he is really just a great young man.

Anonymous said...

Apparently not that great since he is suing what he believes to be Gods church. Might as well blame God for all his problems as he sit's in hell wondering what he did wrong in life...

Anonymous said...

Always baffles me how members of the church are so quick to judge others. Judge not...he is only trying to get help with his medical expenses, he's not after millions. The church has accident insurance and I think they should help him out. What is the greater sin here, I believe it is judging another, expecially without knowing the person or knowing what he is going through.

Anonymous said...

I think before you decide to post a comment and judge you need to know the whole story. I married to the cousin of Danny and my father was the President of the law firm that represents the church Kirton & McConkie before he passed away. It is not a matter of taking sides but getting all the fact to the First Presidency of the Church so they can review it. There are many people who sue the church every year without cause which is why there are certain protocols that have to be followed. Danny is indeed a great man that unfortunately was injured during a church activity just as if at Scouts or girls camp, ect. He was forced to take legal action because he could not get anyone to listen to his plea and he filed with 30 minutes left in the allotted time before he could not seek any kind of payment from them for medical expenses. Please make sure to get the facts before you make your judgments and even then isn't it God who is to judge us?

Isaac Tanner Madsen said...

Just inspiring how judgemental you all are. Let the case resolve itself. Leave the judgement to God. That is all.

Isaac Tanner Madsen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.