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When a 'group' should become a 'club'?



  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    I don't think this is lawyer scaremongering at all - fact is the law as it stands DOES leave ride leaders (and even others on the same ride) open to legal action. It's also likely the case that very few such actions would ever be brought and very few of those that were would be successful (e.g. a few mates out on a ride, one injures himself and tries to sue the guy the organised the ride). However IF it did happen then without liability cover etc. you will face significant legal bills defending yourself so I'd just view it as another form of insurance and whether you want to accept the risk or pay the premium for cover.
    However what does cause a problem for me is, for the CTC insurance for example, you have to take a register of riders before each ride as one of the rules of their cover (and I'd imagine this is a standard condition with any similar policies), which turns the whole thing into a PITA. I don't mind paying a few quid a year for cover but I don't want to be doing admin censored on a bike ride.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,473
    edited March 2012
    I'm not a face book user, but that register thing.. might it be possible to do it on face book? Get people to sign in before they leave?
    Asif Tufal wrote:
    Also, bear in mind that there are two sides to a negligence claim: claimant (formerly known as plaintiff) and defendant. I believe that I could present a solid case for a claimant.

    As a teacher I can see you are driven to educate, however, on this occasion, I think you are wasting your time ;)
    Still at least you'll have some good material for your next essay topic.

    Peter leads a mountain bike group on a saturday morning, its a large popular group who meet regularly. During one of their rides, John an experienced group member suggests a new route across some particularly challenging trails. John has ridden the route before and suggest its awesome with huge jumps and big drops. Its unknown to Peter, but he is keen to shred the gnar'. Sue is new to MTBing and joined the group as it was promoted via her local council website as being aimed at new riders. She has some concerns about John's route, but puts her faith in Peter as he seems experienced enough. During a particularly technical decent Sue falls and injures her back severely. She is a CEO of a major company who decide to bring a claim. John being a low level IT tape monkey has few assets, however, Peter runs his own property development business and has more to lose. Discuss Peters potential liability as ride leader, make the case for and against peters liability. Consider in particular the case of Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] and Caparo v Dickman (1990) and how they apply.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    So what if I call a few mates, or they call me, we send messages on twitter, perhaps an SMS or two - whatever, the end result is a group of 5 mates go for a ride on the road/offroad or wherever.

    Is one of us an activity provider?

    If not, why not?
  • diydiy Posts: 6,473

    You haven't advertised your activity to the general public, you have not set a mission/objective of your group, you are not promoting the group, you are sufficiently small for there to be no few leading the many.

    If you do something stupid and cause a reasonably foreseeable accident, you could get sued, but that applies to anyone doing anything.
  • Thanks for all the replies and thoughts.

    My real concern is that either a newby will get hurt and sue for exactly those reasons stated above. We did have a similar type situation where the group went to a very steep technical section and 12 of the 25 riders fell off!! We were lucky that no one was badly hurt!
    It is more likely in my overcrowded part of the country that a dog walker, pedestrian or horse/rider could be injured and it those that are more likely to take legal action against us (or frighteningly me as a founding member!!).

    We have already had a local farmer threaten us (indirectly through letters to the council) as we have ridden a couple of times on footpaths through his land. He hates all cyclists but actually has a point of contact with us!

    Still feeling very unsure as to the way forward but its not looking like there is a simple satisfactory solution.
    Trek Top Fuel 9 2010, Stumpy Pro 2009 ,Giant XTC3 2009, Qu-ax Penny Farthing,
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  • pete is it? Asif makes a lot of sense and in all fairness it's got me wondering if its a wise move to continue your current course of action. in the case mentioned above sue may well take action against you but then you could then in turn some sort of action against john. my mrs called it something and i didnt understand her because she knows big words and i dont. she's saying something about a slug in a bottle!!?? (1953) :shock:

    in short, it could get messy!

    may i suggest not inviting those 12 riders again.... maybe just go out with the good ones and maybe have another ride for the people who keep falling off :lol:
  • jkgjkg Posts: 2
    But if there is no identified ride leader, some one gets to the front, the rest follow, some one else gets to the front and tghe rest follow, etc etc, then no one is responsible. And if different people post the questio on the forum "whos out saturday?" thats hardly being an organiser. And if I run down some dog walker thats my fault not the groups, I think we are worrying too much. English law is strangely flexible and i have yet to get into trouble for not practicing my archery on a sunday. Though a may take up riding no hands with my bow and arrow, (just like in the cowboys and indians film) and bagging a few dog walkers.
  • andyrmandyrm Posts: 550
    Check for some input on all this stuff. That's the club I ride with and about 4 or 5 years ago (before I moved to the area) they went through all this stuff. I was at the club AGM (legally you have to do this but it was in a pub so not really a hassle) recently and the committee was saying all about the legal complexities and potential liabilities that an 'organised' ride can face.

    I'm sure that if you check the site and contact one of the committee, they'll be able to offer you some advice based on our club's experiences.

    Hope that helps!

  • diydiy Posts: 6,473
    in the case mentioned above sue may well take action against you but then you could then in turn some sort of action against john. my mrs called it something and i didnt understand her because she knows big words and i dont. she's saying something about a slug in a bottle!!?? (1953) :shock:

    She's refering to Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) the case of a person who bought some ginger beer for a friend which contained a decomposed slug. It was a test case and changed the concept of negligence claims.

    Yes "Pete" could well bring "John" in to the claim, but since John has no assets, the claimant will go where the money is. There is a saying in this business: There is no point in peeling an orange if there is no fruit inside.
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