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Woman Killed Crossing Street to Attend Mass

Court rules that church had no duty to control traffic.

Key point: A church is not necessarily responsible for injuries occurring to members who are struck by vehicles when crossing a street to access a parking lot.

• The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that a church was not responsible for the death of a parishioner who was killed when she was struck by a vehicle while crossing a street to enter a parking lot. Three adult members of a Catholic church drove to the church to attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve. As was the practice of many parishioners, they parked their car in a small parking lot across the street from the church. The parking lot was owned by a neighboring commercial establishment, but church members were allowed to use the parking lot during church services by common consent. The parking lot was separated from the church by a public street. After mass ended, the three members left the church and proceeded to cross ...

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  • July 1, 1994

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