[hackerspaces] Insurance, liability and kids

Mark Janssen dreamingforward at gmail.com
Thu Sep 5 02:08:27 CEST 2013

On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM, Christie Dudley <longobord at gmail.com> wrote:
> Interesting thoughts on the subject. I know a bit about law, although I am
> not a lawyer, no am I able to give legal advice.

Thanks Christie for your thoughts...

> Second of all, someone needs to tell that landlord that he leased out the
> building and has relinquished control of it.

This is not necessarily true.  While there may be case history to this
effect, this does not mean that it couldn't be overturned at any
moment.  There is good argument why a property owner has ultimate
responsibility for what happens in her/his space countermanded only by
explicit agreement.   If I lease out a building to music band and that
band makes noises all hours of the night, then my property neighbors
are effected.  The owner has to take responsibility for who s/he
offers space to.

> Unusually dangerous activity: When an activity is not the normal sort (such
> as Matt's metal shavings problem) it falls into this category. Law students
> love these because it's strict liability, fast track to liability. They
> don't have to show that a duty was breached because it's inherently
> dangerous.

While lawyers like to jump on this bandwagon, it doesn't make it
"sound".  Going up and down stairs is inherently dangerous.  The issue
is:  is it either obvious that there is danger involved (to an adult),
or has that danger been completely communicated?  After that, it's up
to the individual, who also is an adult.

> Assuming the risk: When kids play baseball, or whatever extreme sports kids
> are into these days, they know that there's a danger and accept that there
> is risk involved, but do it anyway. That's why you'll see "assume the risk"
> crop up on waivers. 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.) Oh, and kids (under 18) can't legally sign
> waivers, although they can assume the risk.

I don't think minors can "assume the risk".  Any contract engaged with
a minor must have a guardian.

Tacoma, Washington

More information about the Discuss mailing list