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Old 04-18-2013, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default Homebrew Class Liability

The past two years I have taught a class on homebrewing through a local organization. As part of the class, attendees are able to have free samples of my beer. In doing the class through this organization, I did not worry about liability at all.

This year I have decided to teach the class myself. In doing so, I am going to draft a liability waiver for attendees to sign. I have looked online and found some good sources from the by-laws of homebrew clubs. Denny had this great blip on another forum which I will probably work from:

"Members recognize that participation in Cascade Brewers Society activities is entirely voluntary. Participation in these activities may involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages which may affect perception and reactions. Members will accept individual responsibility for their conduct and behavior. The Cascade Brewers Society will neither assume nor accept responsibility for an individualís actions. Also, members agree that driving while intoxicated is a serious violation of law and of expected behavior at club events and agree that they will find alternate transportation if they are unable to safely and legally operate a motor vehicle. Members agree they alone are responsible for their actions before, during and after club events, including, but not limited to, decisions about driving after consuming alcoholic beverages and waive any claim, legal or otherwise, against the club and its members, hosts and guests stemming from formal or informal club activities. "

I want to avoid paying for any sort of event insurance or becoming an LLC. I have read that a correctly worded waiver will stand up in court, if need be. What are your opinions of the wording above?


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Old 04-18-2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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When you did it through the other venue, did participants have to sign waivers as well? I've never given this any thought. Interesting.


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Old 04-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #3
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This is a good idea. About 5 years ago, there was this girl that went to a local bar for her birthday. She drank several drinks and shots, drove drunk, and killed herself on the way home.

I don't know the exact details, but the parents sued the bar, and the court found that the girl was "overserved" and awarded a gazillion dollars to the family. The girl's family now owns and runs the bar (which I think is a bit hypocritical, but it's 100% true).

Any organization/event where alcohol is served needs to be (cue Elmer Fudd voice) vewry vewry careful.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
When you did it through the other venue, did participants have to sign waivers as well?
Yes, they did. If they were not salty about me not doing the class through them, I would ask for a copy of the waiver they used.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
This is a good idea. About 5 years ago, there was this girl that went to a local bar for her birthday. She drank several drinks and shots, drove drunk, and killed herself on the way home.

I don't know the details, but the parents sued the bar, and the bar found that the girl was "overserved" and awarded a gillion dollars to the family. The girl's family now owns and run the bar (which I think is a bit hypocritical, but it's 100% true).

Any organization where alcohol is served needs to be (cue Elmer Fudd voice) vewry vewry careful.
That's flipping crazy. Do bars need to collect waivers from every entrant, now?
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:31 PM   #6
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That's flipping crazy. Do bars need to collect waivers from every entrant, now?

No but there are definite issues they can run into for over serving people. Can we please stay on topic?
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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I am a tattoo artist , I know the importance of a waiver. I have had people complain that there tattoo didn't heal due to THEM not taking care of it during the healing process. Even thought they read a waiver and I hand out tattoo care sheet's with all the info they need.
If I where you I would add some info on them hurting themselves when the go home and get burned. Then decide to sue you because you didn't warn the new home brewer that boiling fluid's can hurt you. (That's what they will say at least) People love to sue over there own stupidity and look for a reason to get someone. Protect yourself from the dumb vultures.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:37 PM   #8
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Never occurred to me. Interesting. I keep thinking about the big brew day that my LHBS puts on in May and November....there's TONS of alcohol consumed, and hundreds of folks moving through the event on that day. I wonder if it ever occurred to them that they could be liable if something happens.

I kinda of forget, that this hobby we do isn't making pottery, we're making alcohol, and alcohol + overindulgence/idiocy can be problematic. And blow back on us, or the event organizer.

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Old 04-18-2013, 03:38 PM   #9
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Waiver or not, they can still sue you and make your life both costly and miserable.
Are you going to charge for this service? It may make a difference in the liability. I would consider an LLC license.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:44 PM   #10
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You need liability insurance if you are going to operate an independent business. No matter what you have people sign, there is always something you could get sued for. Who knows... you could trip and accidentally smack someone with a mash paddle. Someone could drop their beer and cut themselves with the broken glass. Some beer could spill on the floor and a completely sober person could slip on it.

You might (probably not, but might) be able to craft a waiver that would remove all liability for the stupid actions of the people who attend. You'll never be able to craft a waiver that protects you against your own mistakes or accidents you play a roll in. You don't want to be in a position where you lose everything you own because of something like that.


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