1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Does your club have a Liability Waiver?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by missemucho, Nov 6, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. missemucho

    missemucho Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    421
    After a few small (fortunately) incidents our club is contemplating implementing a Release/Waiver of Liability for all club members to sign. We have a preliminary copy that was reviewed by our attorney, but we're worried about the long term fallout with the membership.

    I'd like some input:
    1. Does your club use such a form? If so, could I have a copy?
    2. How long has the policy been in effect?
    3. What were the consequences if a member choose not to sign the waiver?
    4. Have there been instances where the Waiver was actually used as a legal defense? What was the outcome?

    thanks for any input.

    John
     
  2. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    15,642
    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    They don't work. this was discussed here not long ago.

    You can sign it, but your wife didn't agree to losing your earning power/companionship. Your kids didn't agree to loss of support. ETC, ETC.

    If your club wants to use waivers be sure to have them printed on soft paper so they can be used for other purposes.

    A lawyer will agree.

    HM
     
  3. leadvail

    leadvail Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Colorado
    John,the one I just sent you was written by a member who is a lawyer/judge here in town and is new for this year. I won't say they work or not. But I would think they are better than nothing .
    Bob
     
  4. alf174

    alf174 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    No waivers at our club. I did just raise the amount from $300k to $500k because it only cost an extra $15/month.
     
  5. Rico46

    Rico46 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    725
    Liability waivers aren't worth the paper you write them on! They simply keep and honest person honest! As a business, club or association you "owe" the public certain degrees of safety, including trespassers! If you invite or solicit the general public on your premises and they are injured "you" will be held legally liable for their safety. The only solution is to raise your general liability, umbrella excess and directors and officers underlying limits. That is the only way to insure that protect your business, club, association and its members from the litigious society we live in today.

    Thanks

    Rick
     
  6. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,796
    I'm surprised ANY club would even attempt to operate without one!
     
  7. tom berry

    tom berry Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    760
    Location:
    Winterset, IA
    one of my clubs just developed one. It is so broadly written that it specifically states that spouses and children also waive there rights. I'm quite sure it would be thrown out if tested.

    I was personally against it but am required to sign it each and every time I use the club facilities.

    This is the only one I have ever been asked to sign at any club I have ever been to.
     
  8. GoldEx

    GoldEx Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,228
    Location:
    Howell, MI
    Yes we do and yes, they are worthless for reasons already mentioned above. Click on the link to see ours.

    Jeff
     
  9. alf174

    alf174 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Jeff, I never signed one there.
     
  10. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,355
    Location:
    Prairie State
    Yes, we use one developed by the Park's Department attorney. It not only waives liability, but states our environmental restriction to steel ammunition and reinforces the ordinance against the use of lead ammo.

    We require shooting users to sign (not just members or non-shooting members). Minors are required print/sign and be countersigned by a parent, as well as adults on their own lines. May be worthless, but everyday we operate is priceless!

    Jay Spitz
     
  11. GoldEx

    GoldEx Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,228
    Location:
    Howell, MI
    You are correct Jeff, you never did sign one. We don't require people to sign them during registered shoots and we don't require people to sign them during open shooting on Wednesday and Sunday and we don't require the Boy Scouts or Pheasants Forever or 4H to sign them but we do require all of our members to sign them. Like I said, they are worthless. The people most likely to sue are not the ones being asked to sign!

    Jeff
     
  12. BabyB

    BabyB TS Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Messages:
    42
    Have any of your clubs been required by their Liability Insurance carrier to have everyone using the facility to have a wavier on file? If so, what type of waiver are you using and how do you handle this during fundraising events when you have numerous people attending the events that are non members and only come to the club for these events?
    Thanks for your help
     
  13. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,594
    The most important, or valuable, effect of a waiver of liability is that the average Joe will remember signing it or be reminded of it in the event of an indicent and will behave as if it must be the last word. But any good attorney can, in fact, get past even the best crafted waiver form. Attorneys at 3 of the several clubs I've joined over the years not only crafted waivers for their club but admit it's vulnerability. Still better to have one than not for the reason stated in my first sentence.....breakemall....Bob Dodd

    ps - YES, our current insurance carrier did insist on waivers but I wasn't privy to any specific demands. It was prepared by our VP/an attorney....BD
     
  14. fritzi93

    fritzi93 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    321
    You should be aware that there may be unintended consequences.

    A local club here in south central PA this past summer announced they would require such waivers. What precipitated this action was NOT directly related to any incident involving a guest shooter, as I understand it. I'll say no more, perhaps a member of that club may care to comment. They'll know this refers to them.

    The majority of members of our 7 club league made it clear they wouldn't comply. After all, how can they sign away in advance any rights they may have in regard to an accident caused by negligence on the part of the club? So five team captains expressed their refusal. One club announced they also would require waivers. That's it, they were/are out. Now it's a five club league, and most of the orphaned shooters have been picked up by the remaining teams.

    Not sure if the two departed clubs even have practices any more. It's sad, the first mentioned club used to have ATA shoots, very nice grounds, always a pleasant place to shoot. The ATA shoots had ceased before all this, but many had hoped they would resume. Doesn't seem likely now.

    The attitude of the Trap Committee and Board at my club considers that waivers are worthless. We had, however, and prior to this, reviewed our liability insurance, and increased our coverage.
     
  15. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    8,371
    Have them printed on Toilet paper so you can find a use for them if anything ever happens ... People cannot sign away their rights and it has been tested many times in the courts ... Some insurance companys require them and they will tell you that a Liability Wavier is a waste of time, money, and the paper they are written on ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  16. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,594
    All true, WPT, but that same insurance company will privately tell you that if the waiver scares off just 5 or 10% of the claims it's a huge win for them.....Bob Dodd
     
  17. Southern Gent

    Southern Gent TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    83
    Liability waivers are well recognized and enforceable, especially for "hazardous" activities. The wording has to conform to state law, so it is best to have one drafted by a local attorney, preferably one who specialty is insurance defense law.

    In addition to a waiver, you need to have language to "hold harmless and indemnify". Again the exact language will be state specific, but any attorney will know what you are talking about.

    I believe that WPT is from Arizona.


    Here is what the Az. courts have to say about releases, this from a case where a where a spectator who was injured by a wreck at an automobile race sued NASCAR and the race track:

    "There is no public policy here which would render the releases invalid. There was no employment relationship between the defendants and the plaintiff, nor any unequal bargaining power which would make the release unconscionable. Mrs. Pray was under no compulsion, economic or otherwise, to be in the pit area. The activity, automobile racing, is not affected with a public interest and the defendants are not engaged in a private service. LaFrenz v. Lake County Fair Board, supra. Nor is Martha Pray a member of a class that is protected against the class to which the defendants belong."






    "The language of the Release of Liability clearly releases the defendants from all liability for negligence. In bold print it states that the Prays, in consideration of receiving permission to enter the premises:

    * * *

    * * *

    "... RELEASES, REMISES AND FOREVER DISCHARGES AND AGREES TO SAVE AND HOLD HARMLESS AND INDEMNIFY NASCAR AND SANCTIONING BODY AND THE PROMOTERS PRESENTING SAID EVENT, THE OWNERS, AND LESSEES OF THE PREMISES, THE PARTICIPANTS THEREIN, THE OWNERS, SPONSORS AND MANUFACTURERS OF ALL RACING EQUIPMENT USED IN SAID EVENT AND THE OFFICERS, OFFICIALS, DIRECTORS, AGENTS, EMPLOYEES AND SERVANTS OF ALL OF THEM, OF AND FROM ALL LIABILITY CLAIMS, DEMANDS, CAUSES OF ACTION AND POSSIBLE CAUSES OF ACTION WHATSOEVER, ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO ANY LOSS, DAMAGE OR INJURY (INCLUDING DEATH) THAT MAY BE SUSTAINED BY OUR RESPECTIVE PERSONS OR PROPERTY, THAT MAY OTHERWISE ACCRUE TO ANY OF US OR TO OUR RESPECTIVE HEIRS, NEXT OF KIN OR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES WHILE IN, ON, EN ROUTE TO, FROM, OR OUT OF SAID PREMISES FROM ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OF ANY OF THE FOREGOING...."




    "In LaFrenz v. Lake County Fair Board, supra, involving a similar release, the court observed that the form and the language were so conspicuous that reasonable men could not reach different conclusions or question whether the deceased had knowingly and willingly signed the document. Here, too, the form of the release clearly brought home to the Prays its contents. Although they claim that they never knew it was a release because the above language was folded under the clip board so it could not be seen, there was evidence to the contrary, and this created a question of fact for the jury. The court did not err in refusing to hold the releases invalid as a matter of law. "
     
  18. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    8,371
    Southern Gent,

    I believe this question was asked about clubs or in this case gun clubs ... The fact that people knowingly enter a gun club they do so feeling there is no threat to themself of being shot or used as a target which would cause great bodily harm if certain shooters might be there the day in question (<<<----Meaning some others probably couldn't hit a bull in the ass let alone another person on the grounds) ... (sick joke, Sorry)

    I was at a Drag Race two years and one of the spectators got ran over by a car in the pit area ... The Liability Waiver is signed by all who enter the grounds and again by those who choose to pay extra to enter the pit area of the facility ... There are signs all over the place warning of the dangers that exist and that are related to being in such an area ... The signs actually are being used against the facilty because it advises all who enter of such danger and that the facilty knew it existed prior to letting the public enter ... I do not know the person who was injured but do know someone that claims he does, he has been told that they have made two offers to settle out of court and the person was advised by their Attorney to not even consider taking an out of court settlement ... I will try and update the outcome of this lawsuit if and when it happens ... This did happen in the State of Arizona and I would imagine its going to trial in the Arizona Court system in Maricopa County ... The Waivers were signed by the person who filed the suit against the Drag Strip and are probably part of the records but as I said so are the signs that were posted all over the place warning everyone of the dangers of being there ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  19. Southern Gent

    Southern Gent TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    83
    "The fact that people knowingly enter a gun club they do so feeling there is no threat to themself of being shot or used as a target which would cause great bodily harm if certain shooters might be there the day in question"

    That's why one of the function of the release is to explains the danger, and gets them to accept the risks. While the language cited is from a race track, the principals would be equally applicable to a gun club.

    The drag strip case is going to a jury trial despite the waivers due to a provision of the Arizona state constitution. The release will be introduced into evidence on the issue of assumption of the risk, and the jury will be entitled to find that the injured party in fact assumed the risk of injury. The waiver certainly is not worthless in that case, as it represents the track's primary defense.
     
  20. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    8,371
    Southern Gent,

    I can appreciate what you are saying but the race track as well as the racing team (driver) are involved in the lawsuit from what I was told ... It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the end and who gets what when its all over ... I cannot imagine they would make a substancial offer to settle out of court if they feel they are covered like a blanket from the liability of this happening ... The Attorney for the defendants was in the hospital before the person was released and asked the injured person to sign all kinds of papers which were not signed from what I have been told ... The guy who got ran over was told and has told people that his Attorney stated that the Waivers will not protect the racing facilty and the racing team from continued liability and that all of his bills to date have been paid by one of the defendants insurance company ... I would see this as an acceptance of liability from where I am sitting ... I think the guy is going to recover on the Personal Injury part as well, even if they do not settle out of court ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.