Law, Non-Profit Organizations, and Standards of Care

4 April 2015
A discussion on whether a lower standard of care is expected of non-profit organizations as compared to commercial enterprises within the legal field of tort.

Throughout the history of law, numerous legal claims have been brought against non-profit organizations. The legal field of tort has also seen a significant amount of non-profit organizations drawn into lawsuits. Using cases from the Commonwealth jurisdictions (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and UK), the paper shows that a lower standard of care should definitely be expected of non-profit organizations. It first lays out the arguments that reject a lower standard of care and then discards these arguments, stating that it is only practical and logical that a lower standard of care be expected.
“After carrying out this research essay, it is my firm opinion that a higher standard of care should definitely be expected of commercial enterprises compared with not for profit organizations. It is just and fair that this is so, as shown by the arguments set out above. Not for profit organizations generally face higher costs compared to commercial enterprises and they serve a more benevolent purpose that puts the good of society above anything else. The standard of care for non-profit organizations should be a reasonable one. It should be lower than that expected of a commercial enterprise but it cannot be so low as to defeat the aim of justice.”
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