Court: Fla. Grandmother Can’t Sue Battleship NJ

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Florida grandmother injured in a fall aboard the Battleship New Jersey cannot sue its operators for damages, an appellate court has ruled.

The panel said the Home Port Alliance – which runs the ship as a museum and memorial on the Camden waterfront – has charitable immunity as a nonprofit educational facility. That protects charities from lawsuits when the injured person benefits “to whatever degree” from the nonprofit’s activities.

Patricia Zavilla broke her right knee when she fell on some stairs while touring the ship with her husband and young grandson in April 2008.

Zavilla claimed she was there only as a tourist and wasn’t part of the community that benefits from the group’s charitable work since she lives out of state.

The court, however, found Zavilla was giving a self-guided tour that “advanced (the Alliance’s) goal” of educating the public about the battleship’s history.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • steve

    It was not mentioned whether anything was faulty or was she just careless and clumsy, and looking to profit, as so many do.

  • bush

    granny has a broken knee, broken knee, broken knee.

    poor old granny has a broken knee.

    take her out & put her down.

    • oman

      you wouldnt say that if it was your granny

  • Logan

    what a pig. glad she can’t sue. she is misguided in her beliefs of “entitlement.”

  • unknown

    It was all George Bushs fault he need to pay this poor woman….Obama needs to step up and help this poor injured lady out

  • grant

    Wow. This is some very specific case law. It seems flawed, though. Since Zavilla did not personally gain from her visit to the Battleship, she should not be barred from recovery. How does Zavilla gain from “educating the public”. I would expect her counsel to file an appeal to the NJ Supreme Court.

    By the way, how is her knee doing now? A fractured knee is painful.

    • Logan

      are you high?

      • Meghan

        Just by touring the facilities, she was benefited personally by learning about the ship. That is the goal of the organization: to educate the public about the ship. Would be damn near impossible to sue the organization for being injured on their property. No other reason to be there but to learn.

  • Marina Ios

    Just watch your step next time.Lesson learned.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live