Articles Posted in Non-Profit Corporations

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In 2009, plaintiff attended a free eye screening conducted by the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired at the Jersey Shore Family Health Center. Plaintiff slipped and fell on the tile floor. As a result, plaintiff allegedly sustained injuries, including a torn ligament in her ankle, and herniated and bulging discs in her back. The Family Health Center was a nonprofit charitable clinic in the Meridian Health hospitals system. It was located in a separate building next to the Jersey Shore University Medical Center. The issue this case presented on appeal to the Supreme Court was whether the Family Health Center was entitled to charitable immunity pursuant to N.J.S.A.2A:53A-7, or the limited liability afforded to nonprofit entities organized exclusively for hospital purposes pursuant to N.J.S.A.2A:53A-8. After review, the Court concluded that site of plaintiff's fall was part of a nonprofit health care corporation organized exclusively for hospital purposes. Defendants, therefore, were not entitled to absolute immunity, but rather are entitled to the limitation of damages afforded to nonprofit institutions organized exclusively for hospital purposes. View "Kuchera v. Jersey Shore Family Health" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff Roland Davis had been a resident of the Devereux New Jersey Center (operated by Defendant Devereux Foundation) since shortly before his twelfth birthday. Plaintiff was diagnosed with autism, mental retardation, pervasive developmental disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and had a history of combative and aggressive behavior. Plaintiff's mother (as his guardian) filed a complaint alleging breach of a "non-delegable duty" to protect Plaintiff from harm, negligent care and supervision, and vicarious liability after a counselor assaulted Plaintiff. The trial court granted Devereux's motion for summary judgment, finding that to the extent claims were for negligence, they were barred by the Charitable Immunity Act (CIA). The court further concluded that New Jersey law does not compel imposing a "non-delegable duty" upon Devereux. The Appellate Division affirmed in part, also finding no "non-delegable duty," and reversed in part, holding that a reasonable jury could find that the counselor acted in part within the scope of her employment. The issues on appeal to the Supreme Court were: (1) whether to impose upon an institution that cares for developmentally disabled residents a "non-delegable duty" to protect them from harm caused by employees' intentional acts; and (2) whether the employee in this case could be found to have acted within the scope of her employment when she criminally assaulted the resident, thereby subjecting the non-profit facility to liability pursuant to "respondeat superior." The Court reaffirmed the duty of due care imposed upon caregivers with in loco parentis responsibilities to persons with developmental disabilities. However, applying the analysis set forth and developed by prior opinions, the parties' relationship, the nature of the risk, the opportunity and ability to exercise care, and public policy, the Court concluded the circumstances of this case did not justify imposing on caregivers a "non-delegable duty" to protect residents from harm caused by employees' intentional acts. Furthermore, the Court held that no rational factfinder could find that the Devereux counselor's criminal assault on Plaintiff was conducted within the scope of her employment. View "Davis v. Devereux Foundation" on Justia Law