In New Jersey, under the Charitable Immunity Act, a charitable organization is immune from negligence suits filed by “beneficiaries” of the organization’s works. Recently, in Smith v. Diocese of Camden, a mother delivering sweets to her second grader’s class argued that she was a “volunteer” for the parochial school and therefore not barred from filing suit when she sustained personal injury on school property.
The Appellate Division saw through this mother’s claim, noting that she would not have gone to the school but for the fact that her child was in the class. She was not a volunteer with specific duties that required her to be present at the school on the date in question, and had gone there simply to bring treats to her child’s class. As a parent of a child in the school when she entered the property, she was a “beneficiary of the works” of the school and, as such, the Appellate Division affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Diocese based upon the Charitable Immunity Act.
Thanks to Denise Ricci for her contribution.