Liability there, liability just about everywhere. In the dead of summer, we can’t escape it. Some call it information pollution. I agree.
Send a kid to summer camp — and you sign lengthy liability waivers.
I signed three pages of gobbledygook.
Why bother reading the waivers — if you need child care, you have no choice.
More liability. Next, my son’s lifeguarding lesson report came back: “You can administer an EpiPen, but if something goes wrong, you may be liable.”
Can a 12-year-old be liable?
Liability means responsibility. The kind that makes you pay if you screw up.
The St. John Ambulance folks worry someone won’t administer first aid for fear of liability.
In Alberta, we do have legislation protecting those who try to help in an emergency. You can’t be liable — unless grossly negligent.
Indeed, St. John can’t think of any Albertan sued for helping in a first-aid situation.
Even the volunteer sector feels liability chill — and most carry director’s insurance of some sort.
Yet, there’s little evidence of a sue-happy climate.
Karen Lynch, executive director of Volunteer Alberta, says there are rarely claims against volunteer directors in Alberta, except for employment issues.
Yet, liability concerns predominate the meetings. “Some directors try to mitigate the risk at the expense of meeting their mission,” she says. (In Calgary, there’s a free Volunteer Alberta seminar on liability Nov. 23 at the Calgary Public Library.)
Then there’s the theatre — or kitchen — liability of the absurd. At Ikea, the sales staff won’t give me the name of a kitchen designer — “if something goes wrong they could be liable.”
On to a City of Calgary report on my neighbourhood. It, too, has a liability disclaimer and “won’t accept loss arising from use or reliance on this report.” (Startling revelation in that report: People worry about saving for the future — and air pollution.)
I do, however, think the city should be liable for bad winter roads. That’s life and death.
And someone needs to investigate last week’s accusation. Veterans Affairs ombudsman Col. Pat Stogran claimed our government prefers Canadian soldiers be killed overseas rather than come home wounded as “the liability is shorter term.”
Liability. It turns our soldiers into a cost centre. It discourages emergency response. Fun goes by the wayside. Volunteers hesitate.
We just don’t have evidence that liability needs to be in every corner of our lives.