Hold Harmless Agreements
Michael J Pagelkopf (mjpagel@SPARC.ISL.NET)
Fri, 18 Sep 1998 12:33:48 -0500
There has been reference made to hold harmless agreements and in at least
one instance a sample has been posted to the list. In the majority of cases
a hold harmless agreement is not worth the paper it is written on. The
decision on negligence will be decided in a court of law. With that said,
if a unit decides that it does need a hold harmless agreement please consult
an attorney for the proper wording and allowable reference to the group
being held harmless. In the example posted the wording included "The Boy
Scouts of America". I doubt very much that BSA wants to be identified in
any hold harmless agreement developed by a unit or chartered organization.
Black and white turns to grey very quickly in a courtroom.
It needs to be remembered that the "Guide to Safe Scouting" is a guide. As
stated in the PREFACE, "The purpose of this pamphlet is to prepare adult
leaders to conduct Scouting activities in a safe and prudent manner." Don't
think for a moment that the liabiity insurance of BSA _excludes_ from
coverage those activities which are detailed in Guide to Safe Scouting. The
PREFACE goes on to say "policies and guidelines are best described as
stepping-stones toward safe and enjoyable adventures."
A permission slip is great....stay away from any type of hold harmless
agreement originated by the unit UNLESS the agreement has been approved IN
WRITING by the council executive especially if the wording Boy Scouts of
America appears in the agreement.
Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner
Hiwatha District - Gamehaven Council SE Minnesota
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City