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  1. #1
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Question about liability in new club

    I live in a rural area that has fairly active recreational program and a Recreation and Lifestyle Centre (Gym).

    I am considering posting in their bi-annual flyer and as well on the bulletin board at the gym seeking people who may be interested in getting together to form an informal cycling club. No fee, just persons with a love for cycling to get together and ride.

    However, I am wondering about the possibility if someone gets hurt. Since I put out the add, am I responsible for everyones safety? Will they send in the bottom feeders (lawyers) to sue me?

    I guess it is how I present it. For example, if I ask a bunch of you guys about getting together for a ride the weekend, and one of you crash. Then, no I am not responsible. Unless, of course I somehow was negligant or caused the crash.

    BUT if I post an add and make it sound as if I am the ride leader, then maybe...?

    Any lawyers out there to give me some advice?

    Digger

    Ps I was only kidding about the bottom feeder thing. Some of my best friends are bottom feeders.

  2. #2
    OTB is imminent travis200's Avatar
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    I would say have anyone that rides with you as a "club" sign a waiver sheet like most clubs and rides have that makes them not liable for any mishappenings.
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  3. #3
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpa
    I would say have anyone that rides with you as a "club" sign a waiver sheet like most clubs and rides have that makes them not liable for any mishappenings.
    It would be nice if it was so simple.

    You need to check with a Canadian lawyer, as it is extremely likely that Canadian laws are different from laws in other countries.

    For a recent discussion of the topic, see:

    http://64.191.20.129/showthread.php?...ight=liability
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 02-15-04 at 01:55 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    It would be nice if it was so simple.

    You need to check with a Canadian lawyer, as it is extremely likely that Canadian laws are different from laws in other countries.

    For a recent discussion of the topic, see:

    http://64.191.20.129/showthread.php?...ight=liability

    Thanks DnvrFox I have reviewed the post. I'd rather not incurr the expense of a lawyer for a non fee bike club. It's really just an ad on my part to see if anyone out there is interested in riding as a group, that's all. Maybe over time it will grow into somewhat more formal with a name and everything.

    But for now I just wanna know if anyone is interested in riding. Plus I want to get more people on bikes out on the road to help support the recreational drive in thsi area. They have quite a large venue of things to do (karate, dance, basketball, baseball, etc).

    Chances are, from what I have seen in the area, I would most likely be the most experience rider and hence the ride leader. I'll talk to the fitness coordinator for the area and see what he says about the liability issues.

    I've said it before, but here it is again, its a sham ewe have to live like this.

    Digger

  5. #5
    Velolutionary IowaParamedic's Avatar
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    I didn't want to cross post, so I created a new post off the theme of this one. Has anyone heard of a club being sued?

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...288#post403288
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  6. #6
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    A little more on waivers (at least in Minnesota cities. Be aware that standards for liability assumption are generally more stringent in municipalities and government agencies than for others such as clubs, etc. In other words, it is harder to sue a municipality, generally.):

    http://www.lmnc.org/pdfs/waivers.pdf
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 02-15-04 at 08:50 PM.

  7. #7
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    I've actually done something like this at one of my gyms. I've posted rides on the walls and on the doors for people to join me on rides. I announce the ride and the route, and I tell people they are welcome to join me, and I just advise them to have water and a helmet, and I also offer rest breaks along the way. I also warn them that there could be potential problems along the way, but if they still want to join me, they are more than welcome. It always works, and I've never had complaints. I even had one woman who was pregnant join me for something like a 55- 50 mile ride once. I don't know if she knew at the time if she was pregnant, but she did tell me a couple of weeks later that she was expecting during class. Since her pregnancy, she still comes to class, and I would not be surprised if she joined me again for some early rides this spring. She knows the game, though- if she wants to come, it's on her. If something happens, I'll do my best to help her and I'll make sure we're as safe as we can be. If she goes sue-happy on me for some reason, I've got the flyers to show that I warned them that there could be problems and she came anyway.

    I say as long as you put in those usual vague warnings, you should be ok. People should know better than to take on exercise without seeing a physician first.

    Koffee

  8. #8
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    The "club" I ride with is not technically a club... more like a group of people who get together to ride.. there are no dues, nothing to sign... the only rule is that you need to wear a helmet... besides that, you are on your own... everyone looks out for everyone else... but since there is no club charter, no club officers, nothing like that... they are not offically a club...

    Jeff
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  9. #9
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    I'm afraid you are taking a risk in hosting a ride as an individual. If something were to happen to one of the participants that rode because of an invitation from you (poster, verbal or otherwise) the primary target for the lawsuit will be you. I take this risk too everytime I call up a friend and ask them if they want to ride. What a shame that we have come to this. Best advice for you and me is try your best to pick a safe route and not take a busy route or route with narrow shoulders, obey all traffic laws and wear a helmet.

  10. #10
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    In the local email lists lately there has been a call to action about some pending legislation coming up in Kansas that would increase club's and even members of clubs liability. I don't remember the exact details but I could dig up one of the posts and paste the details of the bill if you would like.

  11. #11
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeOK
    In the local email lists lately there has been a call to action about some pending legislation coming up in Kansas that would increase club's and even members of clubs liability. I don't remember the exact details but I could dig up one of the posts and paste the details of the bill if you would like.

    Hmm, I wonder how relivant that would be for me? I live in Canada, so no doubt the laws are differant. Perhaps not, I'll have to track down some info here.

    But thank you tho.



    Quote Originally Posted by calibrate
    I'm afraid you are taking a risk in hosting a ride as an individual. If something were to happen to one of the participants that rode because of an invitation from you (poster, verbal or otherwise) the primary target for the lawsuit will be you. I take this risk too everytime I call up a friend and ask them if they want to ride. What a shame that we have come to this. Best advice for you and me is try your best to pick a safe route and not take a busy route or route with narrow shoulders, obey all traffic laws and wear a helmet.
    Well, I was thinking that if I present it as a 'club' then, yes, I would be more liable than if I presented it as "a friendly get together for the common interest of cycling". In any case, I WOULD be considered the ride leader plus I have no formal training in cycling (i.e. CANBike course). No doubt the bottom feeders would latch onto that and play it up. "So there, what gave you the impression that you coudl take people out into traffic on a bicycle group ride with no formal training? Huh?"

    Its a shame, I just want to promote cycling more in my community, I want to be active in a more physical activity volunteer setting.

    I think it just comes down to if I am negligant or not. If someone gets dropped or has mechanical troubles and I don't check up on them and something happens. OR I go too fast, people try to keep up and someone has a heart attack.

    Looking through this Recreation Program brochure right now I see things like dance, hockey, crafts, tole painting, sleigh rides, yoga, ballet, etc. Well what is someone on that sleigh ride falls off....? Same sorta thing...

    Ah jeez I gotta call a lawyer, but I know what they are gonna say.

    Thanks for your help guys.
    Digger

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