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Gain, Inc. v. Martin

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

March 9, 2016

GAIN, INC., APPELLANT
v.
MERANDA MARTIN, SUCCESSOR SPECIAL ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF VIRGIL BROWN, JR., DECEASED, APPELLEE

         Counsel Amended March 11, 2016.

Page 730

          APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SEVENTEENTH DIVISION. NO. 60CV-13-4061. HONORABLE MACKIE M. PIERCE, JUDGE.

         Pinnacle Law Firm, PLLC, by: Matthew D. Campbell, for appellant.

         Bennie O'Neil, for appellee.

         Mackie McClellan Pierce

         M. MICHAEL KINARD, Judge. WHITEAKER and HIXSON, JJ., agree.

          OPINION

Page 731

          M. MICHAEL KINARD, Judge

         Appellant Gain, Inc. (Gain), appeals from the trial court's order denying its motion for summary judgment based on the doctrine of charitable immunity. After a de novo review, we conclude that the trial court erred, and we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

         Appellee Meranda Martin, the administratrix of the estate of Virgil Brown, Jr., deceased, filed a wrongful-death and survival action against Gain and others in October 2013.[1] Gain purports to be a charitable organization providing services to adults with debilitating major mental illness. Martin asserted that Gain was negligent in providing services to Brown and to Kenneth Ray McFadden, Jr., which resulted in McFadden killing Brown. Gain filed a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment, asserting the affirmative defense of charitable immunity. Gain later filed an amended motion for summary judgment, along with its articles of incorporation, bylaws, an affidavit from its executive director, and documents to confirm its nonprofit and tax-exempt status.

         Martin filed a response along with several documents, including Gain's application for tax-exempt status and tax forms for the years 2007 through 2011. After a hearing, the trial court entered an order denying Gain's motion for summary judgment. The trial court found that Gain had established a prima facie case that it was entitled to summary judgment, but Martin had met her burden of rebutting Gain's entitlement to the defense of charitable immunity solely through her argument that Gain did not receive enough money in contributions or donations to qualify for charitable immunity. Gain now appeals.

          As a general rule, the denial of a motion for summary judgment is neither reviewable nor appealable. Arkansas Elder Outreach of Little Rock, Inc. v. Thompson, 2012 Ark.App. 681, 42 ...


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