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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Liability Based on Status as Invitee, Licensee, or Trespasser

Volume 2 . Chapter 7 . § 7-20.1
Key point 7-20.1. In most states, whether a church is liable for injuries occurring on its premises will depend on whether the victim is an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Churches, like any property owner, owe the highest degree of care to invitees, a lesser degree of care to licensees, and a very minimal degree of care to trespassers. As a result, it is more likely that churches will be liable for injuries to persons who meet the definition of an "invitee."

In most states, the liability of a church for injuries caused on its premises depends upon the status of the victim, since the degree of care which a church must exercise in safeguarding and inspecting its premises depends entirely upon the status of the victim. Most courts hold that ...

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