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Personal Injuries - Part 3

On Church Property or During Church Activities

• The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a church-operated school located on church property could be sued by a pedestrian who suffered permanent injuries when she slipped on a sidewalk abutting the school that had not been cleared of snow and ice. Such a result, concluded the court, was "less harsh than imposing the entire loss on a pedestrian injured by the negligent maintenance of a sidewalk," and "would in no way interfere with the exercise of religion" by the church. Further, requiring church schools to clear abutting sidewalks of snow and ice "would not greatly add to the type of maintenance tasks [such schools] routinely undertake." Finally, the court rejected the church's claim that the state "charitable immunity law" (which prevents charitable and religious organizations from being sued in some cases by their "beneficiaries") prevented it from being sued—since the injured ...

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Posted:
  • January 2, 1989

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