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Personal Injuries - Part 1

On Church Property or During Church Activities


• Can a church be legally responsible for injuries sustained by a volunteer worker who was injured severely while helping to paint a church's fellowship hall? Yes, concluded a Wisconsin appeals court. The volunteer was painting a steam pipe using a stepladder that was owned by the church and that had been placed on a drop cloth. Following the accident, the victim was taken to a hospital where he was diagnose as comatose and partially paralyzed, and was placed on a life support system. Several weeks later, he had "regressed to a very primitive, vegetative level." A lawsuit was brought against the church, and a jury determined that the victim and the church had each been 50% negligent, and awarded damages accordingly. The church appealed from this decision, arguing that the evidence had not conclusively established that the victim had fallen from the stepladder, and, even if it had, that ...

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  • September 1, 1988