Jump directly to the content

Limited Liability of Charitable Organizations

Does this limitation extend to officers and directors?

Key point: A few states limit the amount of money damages that can be collected against a church or other charity. However, these laws do not necessarily protect officers or directors who are sued personally.

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that a state law limiting the liability of charitable organizations to $20,000 does not apply to officers and directors of a charitable organization who are sued personally. A fire occurring on the premises of a nonprofit center for battered women and children killed two women. A lawsuit was filed against the charity that owned and operated the center. The lawsuit also named the four officers of the charity. Massachusetts law contains the following provision limiting the liability of charities to $20,000 in most cases:

It shall not constitute a defense to any cause of action based on tort brought against a corporation, trustees ...

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

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

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • March 1, 1994

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Your Complete Guide to Virtual Church Meetings
Your Complete Guide to Virtual Church Meetings
A toolkit for legal and compliant business meetings
Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability
Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability
What these documents do—and don't do—based on statutes and court decisions made nationwide.
Board Member Orientation
Board Member Orientation
The concise and complete guide to nonprofit board service
Avoiding Church Lawsuits
Avoiding Church Lawsuits
Create proactive procedures to avoid common reasons why churches most often go to court.