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  1. #1
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    PSA: How to build & maintain trails and not get sued

    So if you're part if a small bike group that can't afford to have a lawyer on standby or to be sued for everything you have , what's the answer ?
    Just don't build trails or host rides & events ?
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  2. #2
    Involuntary Memory
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    Form a club and insure the singletrack. Oasis or OCA.
    As for group rides with non members, not sure.

  3. #3
    Lemmy Rules!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    Form a club and insure the singletrack. Oasis or OCA.
    As for group rides with non members, not sure.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^

    This! It would seem we have come full circle
    Strava made me do it....

  4. #4
    Involuntary Memory
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Zoidberg View Post
    Have non-members sign waivers for each ride they participate in.
    Sent from my Lumia 920 using Board Express
    No Thanks, sounds like a bunch of work for very little return.

  5. #5
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    PSA: How to build & maintain trails and not get sued

    Creating this new thread as a repository for posts leaning toward liability for trail building and maintenance, from the original thread they were posted in which was liability related to group rides. Some commonality between the two threads, so the split might not be entirely clean but hopefully better for new posts going forward.

  6. #6
    Team NFI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash&bern View Post
    So if you're part if a small bike group that can't afford to have a lawyer on standby or to be sued for everything you have , what's the answer ?
    Just don't build trails or host rides & events ?
    Probably have to figure out what your needs are as each will be different for the club. MTB Kingston's needs in this arena are different then HCC's are.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    Form a club and insure the singletrack. Oasis or OCA.
    As for group rides with non members, not sure.

    Does the OCA now offer Trail Building Insurance?

    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
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  8. #8
    humber river advocate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    Form a club and insure the singletrack. Oasis or OCA.
    As for group rides with non members, not sure.
    that will not prevent/stop you from getting sued (same with incorporation) there are lawsuits going on all the time from incidents on public/private access lands (municipal/regions also have fully represented legal departments). you can pursue a lawsuit in civil court against anybody. of course those in the legal profession please correct me if I am wrong as I am a layman in these matters.

    oasis insurance is untried as far as I am concerned and a basic mandate of the insurance company is not to pay out to anybody. So it will be interesting what happens when there is an incident and the shotgun approach is taken by the plaintiff's legal team here in Ontario.

    that being said we need to reform recreation liability laws here in Ontario.

    my best suggestion would be to try to piggy back the trails on the municipalities civil insurance. talk to your councillors...
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    my best suggestion would be to try to piggy back the trails on the municipalities civil insurance. talk to your councillors...
    Exactly.

    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL View Post
    Exactly.
    A lot depends on where you're building and whether or not you're doing it with the land-owners permission.

    Anybody can sue anyone at any time but the burden on the party doing the suing is to demonstrate negligence and that can take many forms.

    I would say if you're building ad-hoc trails (AKA going out in the woods and building trails without anybody's permission) either stop doing it or keep it to yourself!
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  11. #11
    humber river advocate
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post

    Anybody can sue anyone at any time but the burden on the party doing the suing is to demonstrate negligence and that can take many forms.
    I've heard of some pretty weak sauce demonstrated negligence depositions before... even from expert witnesses. in the end it costs everyone $
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  12. #12
    Ms. Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL View Post
    Does the OCA now offer Trail Building Insurance?
    Sadly, it appears not.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    A lot depends on where you're building and whether or not you're doing it with the land-owners permission.

    Anybody can sue anyone at any time but the burden on the party doing the suing is to demonstrate negligence and that can take many forms.

    I would say if you're building ad-hoc trails (AKA going out in the woods and building trails without anybody's permission) either stop doing it or keep it to yourself!

    I would say if you are a rouge trailer builder then you are subject to a lot more than just a lawsuit.

    If Insurance can be covered by the Municipality/Land Manager that would be the best scenario for any Club.

    Does anyone on here know what the Woodstock Cycling Club does for Insurance on "The Pines" trail network?

    With Trail Insurance Coverage reaching hyper critical stage in the U S of A after IMBA abandon their Club Insurance Program it would be nice to have alternatives if god forbid the same thing happens in Canada.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL View Post
    I would say if you are a rouge trailer builder then you are subject to a lot more than just a lawsuit.

    If Insurance can be covered by the Municipality/Land Manager that would be the best scenario for any Club.

    Does anyone on here know what the Woodstock Cycling Club does for Insurance on "The Pines" trail network?

    With Trail Insurance Coverage reaching hyper critical stage in the U S of A after IMBA abandon their Club Insurance Program it would be nice to have alternatives if god forbid the same thing happens in Canada.
    That's very interesting. I didn't realise that about IMBA US. Sounds like it's time to advocate with the OCA to offer trail insurance. Mike Cranwell (of Duke's and Lapdogs) just got elected to the OCA board - I bet he'd be a good advocate if you talked to him...

  15. #15
    Involuntary Memory
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    IMBA insurance ending

    Canada has a different insurance company Oasis. The US club trail insurance was much less expensive then ours. Many clubs are now needing to scramble to make up the cost difference.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Sadly, it appears not.
    I thought that OCA Insurance did allow for specific club trail work/build days. But we did not look into it much because we wanted the Oasis 24/7 all members covered for trail work model.

    How do OCA clubs do any trail work?

  17. #17
    humber river advocate
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    we should learn from the states... note the clear indication that a fee is not to be charged other then a lease fee... (may vary from state to state as usa state law is not my strong point).

    Q: In what circumstances would I have liability protection?
    A: According to the recreational user statute, you would not be held liable for injuries if you, as the owner, lessee or occupant of the property gave permission to a person to use nonresidential premises for recreational activities, as long as you have not received a fee or benefit, other than a lease fee, for allowing the “recreational user” to use the property for recreational activities.

    now that will drop the cost of insurance... and that's on private land...
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  18. #18
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    Oasis trail insurance is the same cost for private property and public property... in Canada.

  19. #19
    humber river advocate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Shaw View Post
    Oasis trail insurance is the same cost for private property and public property... in Canada.
    Would have to verify that. I know for a fact that the Town of Caledon legal department rejected oasis insurance (for multi-use trails/construction) as it did not meet their guidelines. I would tend to side with the town on this since their legal department has considerably more resources and experience then all of us combined. That IMBA is getting out of the insurance game I think is a very wise decision. It is better to work for a solution then be part of the problem. Just think what a boost would occur to tourism/trails if liability only played a minor roll.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    Would have to verify that. I know for a fact that the Town of Caledon legal department rejected oasis insurance (for multi-use trails/construction) as it did not meet their guidelines. I would tend to side with the town on this since their legal department has considerably more resources and experience then all of us combined. That IMBA is getting out of the insurance game I think is a very wise decision. It is better to work for a solution then be part of the problem. Just think what a boost would occur to tourism/trails if liability only played a minor roll.
    SS you certainly have a different situation then we are working with. I believe the town of Caledon is covering the trail insurance for everyone, so they are likely doing it through the company that they have a massive amount of insurance with already and would likely get a better deal with then a company (Oasis) that would only provide them with trail insurance, just a guess.

    We as a club need to provide our own insurance so Oasis seams to be the best fit. We are putting our efforts towards building new singletrack, not working for a solution on changing the world. As a MTB Club we have lots of good to work with and we are doing that.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    That IMBA is getting out of the insurance game I think is a very wise decision.
    Not sure I would agree with that statement at least in the USA.
    I just might kill IMBA's Chapter Program. If Clubs/Chapters now have to fend for themselves for insurance they might just leave IMBA. You just have to read the thread on MTBR's Trail Forum to see how upset US Clubs and Chapters are now that IMBA has dropped their insurance program (although IMBA hasn't said it is permanently dropping insurance yet).

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