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Recent Developments in Missouri Regarding Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

A Missouri court found a charity liable for injuries sustained by an adult while bungee jumping at a charity-sponsored event.

Missouri
State:
Key point. A church cannot avoid liability for injuries caused by an "inherently dangerous activity" by hiring an independent contractor to operate or conduct it.

A Missouri court found a charity liable for injuries sustained by an adult while bungee jumping at a charity-sponsored event. The charity hired an independent contractor to set up and operate a bungee jumping attraction. A 39-year-old male (the "victim") was the first to purchase a bungee jump ticket. He was weighed, and was then required to sign a "release and waiver of liability" form that stated, "The participant is fully aware that bungee jumping … is a calculated risk sport and contains inherent risk and dangers (including serious injury or death) that no amount of care, caution, instruction, or expertise can eliminate." An employee of the bungee jump company placed a harness around the victim's waist and ankles, ...

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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:
  • November 1, 1999

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