(Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I'll gladly take corrections from any
sharper legal minds. Kevin Dwyer?)
We are a DIY shop, and we have insurance. Our insurance does cover repairs,
which is appropriate since our DIY comes with assistance, which often looks
like doing repairs. I think insurance is important for any organization
offering to help with bikes. One loose quick release could lead to big
It's tempting to believe that since our organizations tend to have limited
assets we're immune to lawsuits, that there's just nothing there to sue
for. The problem is lawsuits will find other targets, like staff or
volunteers with money or property. If they're lucky they'll be covered by
homeowner's or other insurance, but not necessarily. So you could be
opening your staff, board, or volunteers to liability.
We'd also like to think that our friends and guests aren't the suing types.
But people don't sue because they're jerks (okay, some do), but because
they're desperate. They sue because our health care system sucks, and
they'll be bankrupted by bills,
And it's not hard to demonstrate in court that we are trusted resources who
should know better than allow someone to install their own front wheel
without making sure they understand how to use that quick release, the part
responsible for more lawsuits than any other component.
On this topic, I'm wondering a couple of things. We have a ponderous waiver
for people to fill out, and I'd like to trim it down.
Do most community shops use waivers, and is there any template?
And, maybe more to the point, have any of you ever been sued, and, if so,
did a waiver help at all?
Corvallis Bicycle Collective