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Road Risks: Using Youth Drivers for Church Events

Soccer case underscores liabilities with driving arrangements.

An Arizona appeals court upheld a $7 million verdict against a youth soccer club as a result of permanent brain injuries suffered by a motorcyclist. The motorcyclist was struck by an SUV driven by a 16-year-old girl who was driving carelessly while transporting other minors to a scheduled practice.

Church leaders should note this case, since it underscores the liabilities their churches may face with off-site events, and particularly with the selection of volunteer drivers.

A nonprofit soccer club sponsored a youth soccer league having several different teams based on the age and ability of the players. It hired coaches for each of the teams. The coach of one of the teams scheduled a training session in a park 20 miles away. Team members were told that they would all meet at a local mall, and from there they would carpool together to the park. A 16-year-old girl ("Allison") drove herself to ...

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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:
  • July 1, 2010

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