Friday, 14 January 2011

Legal disclaimers: can we crowd source this?

When officials were presented with the idea of Bike Aid, there was sometimes much teeth sucking and doubts expressed it could operate in our litigious society.

However, other legally trained minds advised (unofficially) that as we didn't charge for it and if hosts made it clear it was at the user's own risk, there shouldn't be any problems if everyone concerned used their common sense. Our best defence is that prosecutors and juries would think that acts of kindness should be encouraged in our society and not legislated into impossibility.

If any law practitioners are reading this, I'd welcome their comments on how to best protect both the host and Bike Aid from liability.

The labels on the first Bike Aid kits contain the following text:

This courtesy cycle repair kit contains: 1 pump with hose. 1 valve adaptor. 3 tyre levers. 1 puncture repair kit. 1 multi spanner.

This kit is hosted by: [insert host name here]

This kit has been sponsored by:
Suffolk County Council
Spring Design and Advertising
Halesworth in Transition Group

Please read these disclaimers before use:
This toolkit is provided ‘as is’ as a courtesy to cyclists in need of emergency repairs entirely at the host’s discretion and the user’s own risk. The use of common sense, principles of mutual assistance (the ethos of the Good Samaritan) and personal responsibility are required for its safe operation.

No warranty of any kind is expressed or implied. No liability is accepted by the host or sponsor for any kind of tort arising from use. Kits containing solvents (i.e. rubber cement) cannot be supplied to persons under 18 years of age without adult supervision.

Please check the contents of this kit and inform the host of any fault. Please be kind and ensure the kit is returned clean, complete and ready for the next user. Please compensate the host appropriately for any expendables consumed or supply their replacements. Gratuities and other forms of acknowledgement of the host are very welcome. If you found this kit useful, why not provide one at another location yourself? Thank you for ensuring the continued provision of Bike Aid.

For more information about Bike Aid, please contact nat [@]

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