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Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that nonmembers who visit churches for noncommercial reasons are "licensees" to whom churches owe a minimal duty of care.

Key point 7-20.01 In most states, whether a church is liable for injuries occurring on its premises will depend on the whether the victim is an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Churches, like any property owner, owe the highest degree of care to invitees, a lesser degree of care to licensees, and a very minimal degree of care to trespassers. As a result, it is more likely that churches will be liable for injuries to persons who meet the definition of an "invitee."

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that nonmembers who visit churches for noncommercial reasons are "licensees" to whom churches owe a minimal duty of care making it less likely that churches will be liable for injuries occurring to such persons while on church premises. A woman ("Paula") was injured when she tripped over a concrete tire stop in a church's parking lot. She was visiting the church ...

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Posted:
  • July 2, 2001

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