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Church Responsibility for Minor's Injuries during Church Activities

Churches may be liable for injuries sustained at events they sponsor.

• Can a church be legally responsible for injuries sustained by a minor who fell out of a tree during a church picnic? No, concluded the Illinois Supreme Court. The minor (a 15-year-old boy) and his parents attended a church picnic at a nearby lake. There was a rope swing attached to a tree which was used to swing into the lake. The boy had been to the lake many times before, and had used the rope swing on several occasions. He was aware that the rope occasionally would become entangled in branches after being released by the person jumping from the swing. When the rope became entangled, someone had to climb the tree to untangle it. On the day of the accident, the victim used the rope swing several times while his parents watched some 20 feet away. After some 10 swings, the rope became entangled in branches, and the victim climbed the tree to untangle it. On his way down, the victim ...

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  • January 1, 1992