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Charitable Immunity Law

In some states, charities are immune from lawsuits by beneficiaries.

Key point. Some states protect charities from being sued by the beneficiaries of their services who are injured or damaged as a result of those services. The fact that a charity in such a state carries liability insurance will not necessarily affect its immunity from liability.

A New Jersey court dismissed a lawsuit brought against a church by a person injured on church premises on the basis of a state charitable immunity law that immunizes charities from liability for injuries sustained by "beneficiaries". A Greek Orthodox congregation conducted an annual festival designed to introduce the community to the Greek Orthodox faith and the Hellenic culture. A resident of the community, who was not a member of the church, attended the festival and was seriously injured when he slipped on a sidewalk as he was leaving. He sued the church, claiming that the church's negligence in maintaining ...

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  • May 1, 1997