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Members' Lawsuits Against Unincorporated Organizations

Can an unincorporated organization be sued by one of its members?

• An Indiana state court ruled that a member of an unincorporated nonprofit organization cannot sue the organization for injuries sustained during an organization activity. An 18-year-old university freshman became a member of a fraternity. While participating in a fraternity party he consumed an excessive amount of alcohol, removed his clothing, climbed atop a brick wall and dove head first onto a concrete patio (thinking it to be a pool). He broke his neck and was rendered a quadriplegic. He sued his fraternity, claiming that it had been negligent in providing alcohol to persons under the legal drinking age, and in failing to provide adequate supervision of activities at the party. A trial court dismissed the lawsuit, and the victim appealed. A state appeals court upheld the dismissal of the lawsuit against the fraternity. It based its decision on the "general rule in Indiana that ...

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Posted:
  • January 1, 1992