Man sues church, claims injury during baptisms

August 26, 2010 7:48:40 AM PDT
A Las Vegas man injured while performing submersion baptisms in the name of the dead has sued The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for medical expenses.

The civil suit filed Wednesday in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court claims Daniel Dastrup suffered severe back injuries after performing about 200 baptisms at the LDS temple in Raleigh, N.C., on Aug. 25, 2007. Dastrup now lives in Las Vegas.

The then 25-year-old claims some of the young men and women weighed up to 250 pounds.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Dastrup began feeling pain the day after performing numerous baptisms. He said he was in so much pain, he could not sit up.

The suit says Dastrup complained about his injuries but a LDS temple officiator ordered him to continue. Dastrup claims another officiator asked twice to take over for him, but he was told no.

Dastrup later learned of the herniated disk and had to undergo two back surgeries.

He also claims the church breached its duty by not warning him that the repetitive motion could cause serious damage. Dastrup says the injury changed his lifestyle because it affected his relationship with his wife and he was forced to quit law school due to the pain.

In addition to medical expenses, Dastrup is suing for future loss of earning capacity and loss of household services.

Church spokesman Scott Trotter says he doesn't have case details and can't comment.

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