Today in my Velo News RSS Feed there's this little gem:
I just read in the local paper that a county judge hearing a lawsuit against the Tour de 'Toona ruled that a waiver, signed by a woman who was later injured and paralyzed in an accident at that race, will keep her from recovering any kind of damages. It's a sad case and it got me to thinking.
Now, I’ve signed more than my share of those things over the years and I always had a nagging belief that they really weren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. How many of us actually read them? How many of us actually think about them when we sign them? As one of my teammates once said, “Any lawyer worth his salt can beat one of those.”
I have my doubts, though, especially after this case. What are you signing away when you put your signature on the dotted line?
Click the link above for the whole response from a very PC staff member over at Velo News. It's actually a pretty good response. To sum it up for those who don't want to read it: "If you don't agree with the waiver, it's probably best to be a spectator."
For those of you not familar with PA, it's one of the most litigous states in the US, and therefore one of the worst states to be a physician or run a business in. Primarily this is due to morons like JD who truly belive that if they get hurt they can always sue someone. There are two problems with this.
1) You signed a waiver. Even if it's poorly written ("I promise not to sue you when I crash my bike because i handle it like a Triathalete, signed JD"), no one made you sign it.
2) Sue the promoter when you wreck? What BS. You had the chance to pre-ride/drive the course. You know where the sketchy parts are. You know most CAT 4 racers suck. You understand that "CYCLING IS AN INHERENTLY DANGEROUS SPORT" and that it hurts when you crash.
Essentially what it boils down to is personal accountability. I know only a few people that have an interal locus of control. (Yeah Labrat you're one...) Get over yourselves, take responsibility for your own actions, and stop trying to turn your idiocy into profit.
It's ridiculous that someone signs a waiver in good faith believing that if they get hurt they can always get around the waiver and sue.
However it's SAD that we even need to sign a waiver...
BTW, if you get out on your bike, there's a burned out newer model Neon at the west end of the towpath. I'll take a phone pic today on the way home. Looks like someone couldn't pay their bills and is looking to collect some insurance money....