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Member Barred from Suing Charity

Man had suffered injuries on the premises of the unincorporated charity.

Key point. The members of an unincorporated organization ordinarily cannot sue the organization for injuries they sustain on its premises or during its activities.

An Indiana court ruled that a member of an unincorporated charity was barred from suing the charity for injuries that he suffered on its premises. The member was injured while diving in a lake on the charity's premises. He sued the charity to recover damages for his injuries, claiming that his injuries were due to the charity's negligence. A state appeals court ruled that the member was barred from suing the charity on the basis of the general rule that members of unincorporated associations cannot sue their association. The court referred to an earlier Indiana Supreme Court case that explained the rationale for this rule:

The theory of the general rule is that the members of an unincorporated association are engaged in a ...

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

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Posted:
  • March 3, 1997

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