Who is responsible if a Witness falls on your property while preaching?

by RULES & REGULATIONS 15 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Elsewhere

    > If the little girl injured herself,could I get sued? They were uninvited onto my property and were also tresspassing. Do you know of any cases where Witnesses were injured in field service?

    Even if you have a No Tresspassing sign, they can sue you:


    Ram butts Bible man

    23-Jan-03 AFTER a day of doorknocking the last thing Jehovah's Witness Kenneth Hawthorn expected was to be attacked by one of God's creatures.

    But that is exactly what happened.
    Despite a gate marked 'private - keep out', Mr Hawthorn entered a farm only to be confronted by a four-year-old ram.

    He attempted to shoo it away with a briefcase containing Bibles but was knocked to the ground and suffered a broken shin.

    In the South Australian District Court, Mr Hawthorn and his wife Pamela, of Tea Tree Gully, reached a confidential settlement with the ram's owners for loss of earnings after the incident in July 2001.

    The Hawthorns sued Ronald and Julie Goldfinch, of Paracombe, in the Adelaide hills. They claimed they were forced to sell their hose-fitting business as a result of the injuries Mr Hawthorn suffered.

    They alleged the ram was a "dangerous and ferocious animal" and the Goldfinches were negligent for not keeping it confined and failing to warn visitors.

    The Hawthorns also sued the Adelaide Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses for failing to provide proper instructions about doorknocking in rural areas.

    In the Hawthorns' statement of claim, Mr Hawthorn, who was doorknocking with his daughter, said they opened a gate on the Goldfinch property and walked towards their house to "engage in biblical discussion".

    "As they did so a ram appeared and charged (Mr Hawthorn) to the ground and the ram continued the attack pushing him towards the fence," the court documents said.

    "At this time the defendants appeared and assisted (Mr Hawthorn) back into his car.

    Mr Hawthorn claims he now is able to walk only small distances and "his capacity to enjoy life has permanently diminished".

    In their defence, the Goldfinches said the Hawthorns entered their property "uninvited, unwanted and without notice".

    They said their hand-reared pet ram had never attacked anyone before nor had it shown a "violent disposition".

    In its own defence, The Adelaide congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses said doorknocking was voluntary and followers were not obliged to do it.

    Mr Goldfinch said yesterday he was glad the case was over but disappointed with the result.

    "We're just totally disappointed that they should have got anything," he said. "He walked into an area where he knew animals would have been, why should we pay."

    The ram, which was affectionately known as "Shit for brains", has since died.

    The Hawthorns declined to comment.


    This is the Australasian Legal Information Institute. They have case records. Type in Jehovahs, not witnesses, or you get a million records!

  • trueblue

    One thing is the WTS takes no responsibility, thinking back on an anouncment made at the KH when it was anounced that anyone out in service comes to a property that is posted no tresspassing that if the individual decides to go in anyway that individual would be responsible for any law suit.

    I thought that sounded sick. ( The governing body sends people out to work for them but the governing body does not protect the workers )

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    The best advice, I think, would be for you to call your local police NON-EMERGENCY number and ask to speak to an officer.

    Here where I am the law is kind of odd - if you leave the snow/ice untouched then it is considered an "act of god" and you cannot be sued, but if you went out and shoveled or put salt down but didn't do an adequate job of it, then you are responsible.

    I always over do the snow removal, salting while it is still coming down and making sure that there are no icy spots.

    Local laws can vary, so you need to find out what the law in your town is.

    The fact that they are JWs is irrellevant; just describe then as door-to-door salespeople.

  • Out at Last!
    Out at Last!

    I know of a pioneer who fell off of a deck while out in field circus. After threatening a lawsuit, the householder let the homeowners insurance pay for injuries and pain & suffering.

  • WTWizard

    And what if those cockroaches fall on purpose, suffer a tiny injury (a scrape), and then sue the householder for huge amounts of money? If one wins a settlement, they might realize that this will allow them to continue pio-sneering without contributing anything to society. You get tiny injuries from minor falls, minor scrapes from knocking on the door, or a tiny scratch from a hazard that they had to really work hard to find, with 7- and 8-figure settlements.

    Obviously, the one that should be responsible is not going to take any responsibility. Either the witless that disregards the No Trespassing signs or obviously hazardous conditions, or the householder, is going to have to pay. And, all too often, if the witlesses win a big settlement for a tiny injury, a good portion of it ends up in the Worldwide Pedophile Defense Fund.


    Who is responsible if a Witness falls on your property while preaching?

    Danny Hazard..


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