Free Legal Advice: Volunteers are your friends until something goes wrong

Thursday, 21 January 2010
The JudgeRecreation lawyer and blogger, James Moss has got some great free advice for people who own an outdoor business.

Never forget what roll everybody is doing while on your course or trip. That will help in figuring out how you will sue you when something goes wrong.

A good group of people that often fall through the cracks when it comes to release forms are volunteers. They are not paid by you and not paying to go on the trip. They are usually friends of you or your staff or parents acting as an extra set of eyes. Remember that volunteers are there to help you but will likely sue if they get hurt so make sure they sign a release.

[blockquote]This happens a dozen times a year. You have someone on your trip who is not really an employee, maybe be a volunteer, a chaperone, or a friend of an employee. If they are not being paid, they must sign a release, even if you do not pay them.

In this case, a schoolteacher was a volunteer chaperone on a ski trip. The ski trip was being run by the school district. The plaintiff/volunteer fell and injured her shoulder. She then filed a worker's compensation claim and won because she was acting in the capacity of a teacher at the time of her injury.[/blockquote]
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Image credit: Farther off the Wall

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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