Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Are Churches Responsible for Injuries by Outside Groups on Its Property?
Yes, if church maintains control of premises, court rules.
Key point: A church can be responsible for injuries that occur on its premises while being used by an outside group, if it maintains "control" over the premises.

Can a charity be legally responsible for an injury occurring on its premises while being used by an outside group? That was the question addressed by a Louisiana court in a recent decision. A charity permitted an outside group to use its facility for a Christmas party. During the party, a woman suffered serious injuries when she fell on a slippery floor. As a result of her injuries the woman underwent surgery for a complete hip replacement. She later sued the charity, claiming that it was responsible for her injuries because it had retained control over the premises during the party. She claimed that the floor was unreasonably slippery, and this dangerous condition caused her to fall. One witness testified, "It was obvious that floor was slippery. It was just waxed or something. I mean it wasn't dirty. It was clean. Probably too clean."

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Posted: January 2, 1995
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