[hackerspaces] Insurance, liability and kids

Sam Ley sam.ley at gmail.com
Thu Sep 5 00:14:13 CEST 2013

On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 4:00 PM, Christie Dudley <longobord at gmail.com> wrote:

> It's how all the crazy shit that goes on in the bay area (fire arts
> festival anyone?) could possibly happen. (And why Burning Man has not been
> sued out of existence.)

Great advice, Christie and Gui! Insurance and liability are tricky
subjects, but so important to us. Remember that as a nascent movement, we
are going to be perceived as well as our worst members - if there were a
few high-profile accidents and subsequent suings, it could affect
perceptions for all of us. You aren't just protecting your space, you are
protecting all of them!

As a funny aside, since Burning Man was mentioned, there was a funny
lawsuit several years ago (Burning Man is CONSTANTLY being sued - they just
have very good legal representation and have written their agreements very
carefully). A man was hanging around intoxicated near the remains of a
burned sculpture, which was now just a pile of burning wood on the ground.
At this point the main perimeters have all been dropped and no one is
hanging around "monitoring" it since it can't get larger or hotter than it
currently is. The gentleman just walked into the fire for some reason, and
was, of course, burned. Some bystanders pulled him out and helped him get
medical assistance. Later he sued, claiming that Burning Man was negligent,
since no one was there to tell him NOT to walk into the fire. The brilliant
quote from the judge who dismissed his case was (and I'm only slightly
paraphrasing), "Are you now, and were you then, aware that fire is hot?"
"...yes." "OK, dismissed." The ruling in that case was that because the
danger is evident to "reasonable persons" and the event had made no
promises regarding special people who's job it is to stop you from walking
into piles of fire, the event hadn't acted negligently, and wasn't liable
for the injuries. Of course, this was no accident - Burning Man spends a
lot of energy making sure it is in the clear - as we all should.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.hackerspaces.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20130904/1e4e010f/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Discuss mailing list