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USAC release

Old 10-21-15, 09:18 AM
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The courts have already given the go ahead to the suit, at least for the moment. Once the discovery period is done, that's when the move to dismiss would happen. The insurance company's lawyers interests and mine are aligned for the moment, the company is looking to avoid paying out as much as I am. This will be a long process, probably another 6 months at least. I can hire a lawyer at any time in the process. So for now I am going to go with the not spending any of my own money route.
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Old 10-21-15, 09:58 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
https://s3.amazonaws.com/USACWeb/for...er_release.pdf

Cursory read appears to say you can't sue organizers basically. I don't see anything about protecting you from claims from other riders.
The release language includes releasing "members" To the extent OP has a USA Cycling license, I believe he's a member of USA Cycling, and arguably released by that language.

Even if the release language doesn't cover the OP, the assumption of risk language in the release will still be helpful in establishing a defense.

Also kids, this is why you need to buy the Umbrella policy. You can get $2million in coverage for a couple hundred dollars a year. If you have any assets to protect, it's a really good idea to carry the Umbrella, for all sorts of potential exposures, which may exceed your homeowner's or auto coverage.
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Old 10-21-15, 10:07 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by noise boy View Post
The courts have already given the go ahead to the suit, at least for the moment. Once the discovery period is done, that's when the move to dismiss would happen. The insurance company's lawyers interests and mine are aligned for the moment, the company is looking to avoid paying out as much as I am. This will be a long process, probably another 6 months at least. I can hire a lawyer at any time in the process. So for now I am going to go with the not spending any of my own money route.
Unless the insurance company is contesting coverage, (which they don't appear to be) you really don't need your own counsel. The defense counsel hired by the Insurance company, even though he is paid by the insurance company, represents you, and has an ethical duty to protect your interests.

You could pay someone to look over his shoulder, but as long as he's doing a good job, and keeping you informed, I wouldn't come out of pocket for that.

You also have a couple of things going for you. One, Maryland is one of the last states where contributory negligence is a complete defense. So if the plaintiff had any fault causing or contributing to their injuries, it bars their claim.

Two, your insurance company has a duty of good faith to protect your interests. If they have the opportunity to settle the claim within policy limits, and reject that opportunity in bad faith, then you may be protected from an excess judgment.

Smart plaintiff's lawyers will therefore at some point make a policy limits demand. If your plaintiff does that, tell your attorney, and your insurance company that you want them to accept that demand.
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Old 10-21-15, 10:32 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Unless the insurance company is contesting coverage, (which they don't appear to be) you really don't need your own counsel. The defense counsel hired by the Insurance company, even though he is paid by the insurance company, represents you, and has an ethical duty to protect your interests.

You could pay someone to look over his shoulder, but as long as he's doing a good job, and keeping you informed, I wouldn't come out of pocket for that.

You also have a couple of things going for you. One, Maryland is one of the last states where contributory negligence is a complete defense. So if the plaintiff had any fault causing or contributing to their injuries, it bars their claim.

Two, your insurance company has a duty of good faith to protect your interests. If they have the opportunity to settle the claim within policy limits, and reject that opportunity in bad faith, then you may be protected from an excess judgment.

Smart plaintiff's lawyers will therefore at some point make a policy limits demand. If your plaintiff does that, tell your attorney, and your insurance company that you want them to accept that demand.
They aren't and exactly so the lawyer is paid by the insurance company, but is working for me. So far the only demand was the original 300K (My policy limit), but they went ahead and filed the suit instead of getting the insurance company documentation to support that claim. So the insurer didn't reject the demand as much as the plantiff just gave up.

Unfortunately the suit is not filed in Maryland, it's in the state where the event happened. But in the interests in keeping this generic I am not going to say what state.

Last edited by noise boy; 10-21-15 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 10-21-15, 10:34 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
The release language includes releasing "members" To the extent OP has a USA Cycling license, I believe he's a member of USA Cycling, and arguably released by that language.

Even if the release language doesn't cover the OP, the assumption of risk language in the release will still be helpful in establishing a defense.

Also kids, this is why you need to buy the Umbrella policy. You can get $2million in coverage for a couple hundred dollars a year. If you have any assets to protect, it's a really good idea to carry the Umbrella, for all sorts of potential exposures, which may exceed your homeowner's or auto coverage.
I am not a "member" as such, I don't hold a USAC license. That was the take of my lawyer as well as far as the assumption of risk stuff.

I am down with that, it's on my shopping list now, to get an umbrella policy, especially since the general liability on my current homeowners is 100K
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Old 10-21-15, 01:01 PM
  #56  
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May I also say, that I hope there's a special little warm spot in hell for the Plaintiff. You sign up to a bike ride with a few thousand people you don't know, you assume the risk you're going to crash, either because someone does something stupid, or just random bad luck. Add in the fact that a timed Gran Fondo is a competitive event, and a quasi race, is all the more reason you the assume the risk.

Unless Noise Boy, took a hand off the bars and punched the plaintiff in the face, bringing suit from an accident in an organized bike ride is abhorrent behavior.
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Old 10-21-15, 01:15 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Unless Noise Boy, took a hand off the bars and punched the plaintiff in the face, bringing suit from an accident in an organized bike ride is abhorrent behavior.
And even when that does happen, people don't bring lawsuits. USAC does get pissed though.
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Old 10-21-15, 01:25 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
May I also say, that I hope there's a special little warm spot in hell for the Plaintiff. You sign up to a bike ride with a few thousand people you don't know, you assume the risk you're going to crash, either because someone does something stupid, or just random bad luck. Add in the fact that a timed Gran Fondo is a competitive event, and a quasi race, is all the more reason you the assume the risk.

Unless Noise Boy, took a hand off the bars and punched the plaintiff in the face, bringing suit from an accident in an organized bike ride is abhorrent behavior.
No punching on my part, just a stupid low speed accident. When this first came up, I was OK with having my insurance cover her medical bills, but once they demanded 300K I became much more of the mindset of screw these guys. Honestly, I am pretty bent at USAC as well, they have been less than helpful in this.
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Old 10-21-15, 02:00 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by noise boy View Post
Honestly, I am pretty bent at USAC as well, they have been less than helpful in this.
I haven't been following along closely, but what do you want USAC to do in this situation?
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Old 10-21-15, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by noise boy View Post
When this first came up, I was OK with having my insurance cover her medical bills
I feel like this was a mistake. Anyway, hope for a quick and faultless resolution. You shouldn't have to pay a dime.
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Old 10-21-15, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
I haven't been following along closely, but what do you want USAC to do in this situation?
Apparently USAC has an accident report of the incident, but won't release it without a subpoena. Serious stonewalling.
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Old 10-21-15, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
I feel like this was a mistake. Anyway, hope for a quick and faultless resolution. You shouldn't have to pay a dime.
Meh, I am a nice guy
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Old 10-21-15, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by noise boy View Post
Apparently USAC has an accident report of the incident, but won't release it without a subpoena. Serious stonewalling.
There's litigation involved.
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Old 10-21-15, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
There's litigation involved.
Correct, but now they are going to get a subpoena for that, and probably for a copy of the liability insurance that they provided for the promoter, and anything else my lawyer thinks will be useful.
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Old 10-22-15, 07:08 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
Anyone who sues over a crash in a bike race is an idiot and a detriment to the sport at large.
x 1 million
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Old 03-01-16, 03:02 PM
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Update! I got deposed by the plantiff's lawyer earlier this month. About an hour of telling my side of the tale. I did make sure to re-affirm on the record that she ran into me. Also that she stated that it was her fault for "not paying attention to where she was going" not just at the scene, but later at the finish line area. So now it goes to an Independent Medical Examiner provided by the insurance company to asses her injuries, then to mediation, then if that fails, court. Yay!
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Old 05-08-17, 07:44 AM
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So, 3 years after the incident, this has finally been resolved. She is getting 75K from Allstate (my insurer). What a colossal pain in the butt. This has definitely re-affirmed my belief that I will never participate in an event like this again, too much exposure involved.
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Old 05-08-17, 09:44 AM
  #68  
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Depending on the amount of her medical bills, and how much the lienholder on those bills was willing to compromise, the plaintiff will see a fairly small fraction of that. First, 33-40% goes to the attorney (standard fee agreement here in FL is 40%) So, we're down $30,000 there. Second, expenses come out. Some depos, copies, subpoenas, filing fees, perhaps experts, so lets just assume another $3,000-$5,000 here. Third, medical bills have to be repaid. Just guessing that her meds, for a settlement in that range may have been around $25,000 or so. Assume the medical provider can be persuaded to take 50%, another $12,500 goes away. And if her meds were more than $25,000, then amount needed to pay the lien holder would be even more.

So the plaintiff ends up pocketing $27,500, in exchange for having to go through all the crap of litigation, laying their lifetime medical history out in the open, being subject to surveillance, having your employment records subpoenaed (to the annoyance of your employer)missing time from work for depos, mediation, and court proceedings.

And worst of all, the nature of the process makes the plaintiff focus on their injury, rather than their recovery, until the lawsuit settles, so 3 years of consciously, or subconsciously playing the victim.

If you're ever injured, and you can get your actual damages covered, you really need to think twice about suing. All things considered, for less than catastrophic injuries its often just not worth it.
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Old 05-08-17, 09:50 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by noise boy View Post
This has definitely re-affirmed my belief that I will never participate in an event like this again, too much exposure involved.
I wouldn't let this incident keep you from doing what you want to do. First, you were very unfortunate to be sued. In my experience, lawsuits from bike events are very rare. I'm only aware of one personally, on a ride or race I've done. (A bull**** suit from a crash on a competitive group training ride by a local attorney, that was dismissed, and the attorney basically ostracized from the local cycling community). Of course, I've heard of other suits from MS 150 rides and such, but you hear about them because they are so rare that they do make news.

Additionally, while I'm sure the whole suit was annoying, and a bit frightening, it didn't cost you any money. And if you now have the umbrella policy, your risk of financial loss from another such accident, and suit is vanishingly rare
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Old 05-08-17, 10:02 AM
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If her medical bills were really only $11k as initially stated and she agreed she was at fault (I was always told to never do this even when it was obvious in a car accident), how in the hell is she getting that extra $64k? F that, noise. And now your insurance bills are going to get hiked up. Sorry to hear that. Hopefully, USAC blackballs her from entering further events as a trouble.
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Old 05-08-17, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Depending on the amount of her medical bills, and how much the lienholder on those bills was willing to compromise, the plaintiff will see a fairly small fraction of that. First, 33-40% goes to the attorney (standard fee agreement here in FL is 40%) So, we're down $30,000 there. Second, expenses come out. Some depos, copies, subpoenas, filing fees, perhaps experts, so lets just assume another $3,000-$5,000 here. Third, medical bills have to be repaid. Just guessing that her meds, for a settlement in that range may have been around $25,000 or so. Assume the medical provider can be persuaded to take 50%, another $12,500 goes away. And if her meds were more than $25,000, then amount needed to pay the lien holder would be even more.

So the plaintiff ends up pocketing $27,500, in exchange for having to go through all the crap of litigation, laying their lifetime medical history out in the open, being subject to surveillance, having your employment records subpoenaed (to the annoyance of your employer)missing time from work for depos, mediation, and court proceedings.

And worst of all, the nature of the process makes the plaintiff focus on their injury, rather than their recovery, until the lawsuit settles, so 3 years of consciously, or subconsciously playing the victim.

If you're ever injured, and you can get your actual damages covered, you really need to think twice about suing. All things considered, for less than catastrophic injuries its often just not worth it.
I understand all of that, but I honestly don't care how it shook out for her personally. It was a straight up money grab on her part.

So now that all of the details are settled, here are some things that piss me off about the whole thing.

1) She was a ride marshall, she was not a paying customer, she was an employee (de facto) of the promoter of the event. This should have gone on the promoters liability insurance.
2) She and her lawyer were allowed to go through the promoters records to find me, without ever asking me if I was OK with my information being released. She only knew I was Robert from Baltimore otherwise.
3) The promoter actually called me after she had given my info to the plantiff and her lawyer, saying that she was a "nice person" and was just looking for help with the medical bills.
4) She went back to work as a personal trainer less than a week after the accident

More to follow, however, everybody involved is lucky this didn't go sideways, I am normally not a lawsuit kind of guy, but if this had gone to court and gone badly, everybody was going to get sued, the Promoter, USAC, and anyone else the sharkiest lawyer I could find thought was possible.

BTW, now that it's settled, it was the Delray Beach Gran Fondo.
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Old 05-08-17, 10:50 AM
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Unfortunately, the ride promoter didn't have much of a practical choice in giving her your name. He refuses, and they just subpoena it, and he also increases the odds he gets dragged into the litigation.

Do you know what she had in medical expenses?

I realize that's its cold comfort, but I would take some solace, that she had to go through all the crap for a comparatively meager return.
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Old 05-08-17, 10:54 AM
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One other point, Noiseboy,

Did you sign a settlement agreement? Its not uncommon for settlement agreements to have non disclosure, and non disparagement provisions which are mutual. SO you might want to check any settlement agreement before you post any more about this, and delete your last posts if you did?

I deleted my quote of your post with the settlement amount for that reason
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Old 05-08-17, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
One other point, Noiseboy,

Did you sign a settlement agreement? Its not uncommon for settlement agreements to have non disclosure, and non disparagement provisions which are mutual. SO you might want to check any settlement agreement before you post any more about this, and delete your last posts if you did?

I deleted my quote of your post with the settlement amount for that reason
No non-disclosure for me, or settlement agreement, that was between her and allstate.
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Old 05-08-17, 11:09 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Unfortunately, the ride promoter didn't have much of a practical choice in giving her your name. He refuses, and they just subpoena it, and he also increases the odds he gets dragged into the litigation.

Do you know what she had in medical expenses?

I realize that's its cold comfort, but I would take some solace, that she had to go through all the crap for a comparatively meager return.
I don't know what her medical expenses were in the end. I know after 2+ years of this crap, she actually went and got the surgery that the doctors had been recommending for 2 years to correct whatever the issue was.

As far as the promoter, they should have just taken care of it on their liability policy from the get go. Instead they foisted off their employee (de facto) on me.
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