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Personal Injuries - Part 2

On Church Property or During Church Activities

Michigan
State:

• Can a church be sued for injuries sustained by a child while on a "carnival ride" at a church fund-raising event? That was the issue before a Michigan state appeals court. The church conducted an annual "Applefest" which involved a number of rides and games designed to raise funds. A young girl was injured while on one of the rides that was owned and operated by an outside company. The girl's parents sued the church as well as the ride operator, and the church sought to avoid liability by claiming that "the ride was neither owned, operated, maintained, nor repaired by the church." The court agreed that the ride was owned and operated by an outside company, but it concluded that this did not relieve the church of responsibility for the girl's injuries. The court observed: "[When a landowner] employs independent contractors to provide entertainment … or food or other conveniences ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

Related Topics:
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Posted:
  • March 1, 1990