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Association of Towns - 69 th Training School & Annual Meeting  PowerPoint Presentation
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Association of Towns - 69 th Training School & Annual Meeting 

Association of Towns - 69 th Training School & Annual Meeting 

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Association of Towns - 69 th Training School & Annual Meeting 

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  1. Association of Towns - 69th Training School & Annual Meeting  Skateboard Parks and Other Recreational Use Liability Issues Robert Bambino New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal February 18, 2002

  2. Topics We’ll Cover: • Coverage Issues • Legal Liability Exposures • Recreational Exposures • The Skating Dilemma • Community Use of Recreational Facilities

  3. Coverage Issues • Public Liability Policies typically include coverage for recreational liability exposures • Some insurers exclude coverage for skateboard or inline skating facilities. Others will underwrite it for an additional premium • Insurers periodically exclude coverage for participant’s liability Recommendations • Check with your agent/insurer • Make sure coverage extends through the Excess Policy

  4. What do Underwriters Consider when Evaluating Skateboard Parks? • Size • Number of participants • Supervision • Type and number of ramps • Fencing/signage • Loss history • Use of waivers

  5. Legal Liability Exposures • Speak with Town Counsel • Plaintiffs have to prove negligence • “Reasonable” person standard applies - What do other municipalities do? - Standards/Codes • Notice is an issue • Generally: Immunity under the Gen. Obligations Law for certain activities, such as hiking, cross country skiing, bicycle riding, sleigh riding and snow mobile operation – not for willful/malicious conduct • Use of waivers/release documents

  6. Waivers & Releases Generally: • Clearly Title the Document • Indicate that the participant is aware of and understands the dangers of the specific activity • The specific dangers to be anticipated in the activity should then be explained • The participant voluntarily releases the recreation provider, its employees and agents from any liability from any injuries or death resulting from the activity • If participant is a minor, document should be signed by a parent or guardian

  7. Sports/Recreational 2000 Participation

  8. Sports/Recreational 2000 Participation

  9. Recreational Exposures • Exercise Walking - “Fitness Trails” – maintain equipment & instructional signs - Walking Trails – respond to notice of defects & maintain signs • Swimming - Beaches: signs/certified lifeguards/cell-phones or radios/weather emergencies. Respond when notified of unauthorized swimming

  10. The Skating Dilemma

  11. Skateboarding Exposures • 7-10 million skateboarders • 8-10% annual increase in participation • Over 300 skate parks in use • Over 54,000 participant injuries; a 13% increase in injuries • Most common reason for injury – falls from irregular surfaces or debris on the riding surface

  12. How Dangerous is Skateboarding?

  13. How Litigious are Skateboarders? …Not Very! • Injuries are usually not serious • “Skateboarding” culture – injuries are part of the sport • Many participants develop a sense of “ownership” to the parks they helped build • Survey from California & Washington State – two claims in 20 years of operation. NYMIR’s Experience: • Very few claims • Allegations - overcrowding/debris on surface

  14. Risk Control Recommendations • Building a Skating Facility • Check local ordinances • Arrange for adequate space - at least 9,000 sq. feet • Retain an experienced design professional & contractor. No national standards at this time • Get certificates of insurance • Specs should include the maximum number of skaters, ramp heights, signage, lighting, fencing & maintenance • Compliance with the ADA

  15. Risk Control Techniques • Require use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by all skaters • Sign the facility – hours of operation, PPE requirements, minimum age, sign-in procedures, etc. • Institute a maintenance program that involves daily inspections and clean-up schedules • Consider supervision • Involve the skating community in planning

  16. Selecting a Location & Equipment Location • Away from traffic • Within an existing park or in a public location • Near public transportation • Layout- - Flat terrain - Sufficient egress - No cross patterns – runs should be roughly parallel - Segregate ramps by difficulty level - Emergency egress

  17. Risk Control Techniques • Skateboarding on Existing Surfaces or Facilities • Choose a safe location • Check surfaces - smooth, paved & vehicle-free during skating periods • Inspect routinely for defects and debris • Promptly respond to notifications of unsafe conditions or unauthorized activities

  18. Community Use of Facilities Swimming and Diving Center

  19. Liability Exposures • Increaseddemand for municipal facilities - ball fields, basketball courts, meeting rooms, recreational facilities • Outside use increases the likelihood of accidents • Accidents often result in claims. Typical allegations include failure to: maintain/manage facilities; warn of hazards; provide adequate equipment; respond to notice of defects

  20. Risk Control Techniques • Inspect facilities used by outside groups • Quickly respond when notified of a defect or problem • Implement a hazard reporting system

  21. Use of Facilities Form • Require outside users to complete a Use of Facilities form • Include rules for facility users, conditions of use, language concerning damage, maintenance, etc. • Include a hold harmless agreement Release Agreement Please read carefully before signing I accept for use as is, the equipment listed on this form and accept responsibility for the care of this equipment while in my possession. 2. I understand there are inherent and other risks involved in the sport for which this equipment is to be used: snow skinning, ice skating,

  22. Insurance from Outside Groups Who Should Provide Coverage? • Philosophies Differ – Generally…. - National Organizations/Regional Clubs/Leagues have coverage in place - Municipalities and schools - Other groups that present a serious exposure (groups that use athletic facilities routinely)

  23. Recommended Coverages • Commercial General Liability- - $1 Million Each Occurrence/ $2 million Aggregate - Municipality listed as an additional insured - No participant liability exclusion - Have attorney/broker/consultant/insurer review the certificate

  24. Questions? Session Information will be on our web site: www.nymir.org Go to Risk Management Section