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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Contributory and Comparative Negligence

Volume 4 . Chapter 10 . § 10-16.1
Key point 10-16.1. Under the principle of comparative negligence, a church is liable only to the extent of its percentage share of fault for an accident or injury.

Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of a person injured through the negligence of another that itself falls below the standard to which a reasonable person would conform for his or her own safety and protection. Historically, the contributory negligence of an accident victim operated as a complete defense to negligence. Accordingly, accident victims who themselves were negligent could be denied any damages. To illustrate, a woman who was injured when she fell down the back stairway of a church while carrying a large ice chest was denied any monetary damages on the basis ...

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