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Personal Injuries - Part 1

On Church Premises or During Church Activities

• The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that an unincorporated church and its board of trustees could be sued by a member who was injured when she slipped and fell on a waxed floor while leaving a Sunday School class. The member argued that she was an "invitee" and accordingly that the church owed her a high degree of care which it breached. The church maintained that the member was merely a "licensee" to whom it owed a minimal duty of care. Under Mississippi law (as is true in many states) a property owner owes licensees only the minimal duty of refraining from willfully and wantonly injuring them through active negligence. A much higher duty applies to invitees—a property owner owes such persons a duty of keeping the premises reasonably safe and to warn them about (or correct) dangerous conditions of which it is aware (or should have been aware). A trial court ruled that the member ...

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Posted:
  • September 1, 1989

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