Personal Injuries – Part 2

On Church Property or During Church Activities

Church Law and Tax 1990-05-01 Recent Developments

Personal Injuries – On Church Property or During Church Activities

Can a church be sued by the parents of a 17-year-old boy who was injured severely in a church van accident? Yes, ruled the Arizona Supreme Court. The boy was injured when a church van in which he was a passenger accidentally drove off the road and overturned. Among other things, his back was broken in two places requiring two 20-inch steel rods to be permanently inserted in his back. He could walk with difficulty, was incontinent, and could not stoop, squat, bend, sit, or stand for extended periods of time. The boy’s parents sued the church on the basis of two theories of liability—”negligent infliction of emotional distress” and “loss of consortium.” The court rejected the first claim since it requires that a parent witness an injury to a closely-related person. However, the court ruled that the parents could recover damages for “loss of consortium,” which it defined as “a loss of capacity to exchange love, affection, society, companionship, comfort, care and moral support.” The court concluded that parents can sue a church for loss of a child’s consortium if “the child suffers a severe, permanent and disabling injury that substantially interferes with the child’s capacity to interact with his parents in a normally gratifying way.” Note that the parents’ loss of consortium claim was independent from their child’s claim for recovery for his own damages. In summary, injuries to a child may result in a recovery not only by the child, but also by his or her the parents. Pierce v. Casas Adobes Baptist Church, 782 P.2d 1162 (Ariz. 1989).

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

ajax-loader-largecaret-downcloseHamburger Menuicon_amazonApple PodcastsBio Iconicon_cards_grid_caretChild Abuse Reporting Laws by State IconChurchSalary Iconicon_facebookGoogle Podcastsicon_instagramLegal Library IconLegal Library Iconicon_linkedinLock IconMegaphone IconOnline Learning IconPodcast IconRecent Legal Developments IconRecommended Reading IconRSS IconSubmiticon_select-arrowSpotify IconAlaska State MapAlabama State MapArkansas State MapArizona State MapCalifornia State MapColorado State MapConnecticut State MapWashington DC State MapDelaware State MapFederal MapFlorida State MapGeorgia State MapHawaii State MapIowa State MapIdaho State MapIllinois State MapIndiana State MapKansas State MapKentucky State MapLouisiana State MapMassachusetts State MapMaryland State MapMaine State MapMichigan State MapMinnesota State MapMissouri State MapMississippi State MapMontana State MapMulti State MapNorth Carolina State MapNorth Dakota State MapNebraska State MapNew Hampshire State MapNew Jersey State MapNew Mexico IconNevada State MapNew York State MapOhio State MapOklahoma State MapOregon State MapPennsylvania State MapRhode Island State MapSouth Carolina State MapSouth Dakota State MapTennessee State MapTexas State MapUtah State MapVirginia State MapVermont State MapWashington State MapWisconsin State MapWest Virginia State MapWyoming State IconShopping Cart IconTax Calendar Iconicon_twitteryoutubepauseplay