(Paralegal) Liability of a Non-Profit (Discussion)

Case Study: 

Jesse, Anna, and Samuel agreed to purchase a parcel of land and make it a skatepark available for free public use. They named the skatepark “Rock ‘n’ Roll Junction.” Anna and Samuel improperly installed one of the skate rails and a skater was injured. Suit was brought against Rock ‘n’ Roll Junction. Can damages be recovered in this instance? If so, from whom can they be recovered?

Response: 

Jesse, Anna and Samuel purchased land together to make a free, non-profit skatepark open to the public. Since a partnership requires the pooling of capital and individual talents to make a PROFIT, and the skatepark was not intended to be profitable, it may not be legally considered a partnership.

It sounds like an unincorporated association, a “combination of two or more persons for the furtherance of a common nonprofit purpose; […] an unincorporated association cannot sue or be sued in its own name. Generally, the members of an unincorporated association are not liable for the debts or liabilities of the association by the mere fact that they are members” (Twomey, 2011).

Anna and Samuel chose to install a rail themselves rather than hiring another company to do it; Anna and Samuel may individually be held liable by the injured party if it can be determined that the skater was “acting in good faith” and responsibly (i.e., assuming the rail was properly installed), but the association itself should not be held liable and Jesse should not be forced to get involved in the legal issue. The injured skater will probably sue Anna and Samuel as individuals for negligence.

References:

Twomey, D. P. & Jennings, M. M. (2011) Anderson’s Business Law and the Legal Environment. Retrieved from http://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu

US Legal, Inc. (2010). Liability of Associations and Members: Civil Liability. Retrieved from http://organizations.uslegal.com/liability-of-association-and-members/civil-liability/

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One thought on “(Paralegal) Liability of a Non-Profit (Discussion)

  1. jaymers says:

    Look at your big brains!

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