This is important for everyone!!! Organizers and participants. Organizers need a way to protect themselves from lawsuits or you will soon see your valued meet-up sites disappear. This could easily be remedied by having a liability form offered by meet-up (u guys can afford the costly legal teams that we can't afford) as a turn-on option to force RSVPs to acknowledge and accept.
Can it be possible if we have a self-sufficient group (ie. people pay their annual dues, meetup.com website fees are paid semi-annually) that the organizer be anonymous? Why does the organizer have to be stated. Granted, someone has to have control over the money that's collected from the dues collected, but does the organizer have to be stated? If people are going to join based on the reputation of the group, why can't everyone be classified as Event Organizers with full controls over organizing an activity, but the inability to change what someone else has posted. As an anonymous organizer, it seems to me that liability issues may not go away completely, but if it isn't obvious who to name in a lawsuit, the liability goes down a bit.
I would like to add liability release for upload and download the files. As a community, noone but the document author is qualified to know if an uploaded file contains priviliged information. The document author uploading the file should clearly sign the statement that to the best of his knowledge the uploaded information is public, and accept the responsibility otherwise.
Same applies to downloading files.
I spoke with a lawyer within my group and designed a code of conduct and then for each event there is a disclaimer that is accepted by the member when they RSVP "yes" for the event. They were all informed of the code of conduct and disclaimer by email upon its implementation and upon acceptance into the group.
Clark Gembey commented
Technically, the Organizer and Meetup will ALWAYS be held liability for anything that may occur at any event connected to the that Meetup group. If there is an Event Host or Host other than the Organizer, then that does not exclude the Organizer from Liability, it only adds said Event Host or Host. Same with Assistant Organizers, I have mentioned this to Meetup many times, especially those events where Organizers don't attend and they don't designate someone to oversee the event.
this is really important. Meetup doesn't have to provide sample liability language but they should provide functionality in the RSVP process to stop a person from being able to RSVP if they do not respond to a question in the desired way. Leave the rest up to the Meetup organizer to figure out.
I like the above idea!
Host or organizer???? What does that have to do with liability. A release of responsibility or waiver is needed?
maybe the terms 'Organizer' and 'Host' need to be revisted...
We organize a group that ride motorcycles together and have concerns about someone getting hurt and suing the organization group. To assist in mitigating this moving into a successful suit, we ask a couple of questions at time of RSVP.
1. Please respond with "Yes" if you are aware that this is an (insert level here) skill level ride and your skills are suited for this ride.
2. Please respond with "Yes" if you have read and agree with the terms of the waiver. Waiver can be found at http://www.blah.com/pages/Waiver/
Questions can be added as you set up or edit the event under “Ask questions when member RSVP’s”.
The issue we run into here is that answering the questions is currently not compulsory. Meetup needs to force an answer to these questions or not allow an RSVP.
meetup os being sued over perks which expose organizers and members link:
Steven C. commented
It would be sufficient, I think, for the organizers to have self-made waivers and a "mostly legally binding" way for participants to "sign them" - and a way to enforce that RSVPs without signed waivers aren't allowed or are segregated from those where people have agreed to a "Waiver of Liability".
And for those who complain that the US is the "Land of the Free and the home of the Sued" - I'm afraid that is so.
A waiver does NOT prevent a lawsuit - it makes lawsuits harder for the party trying to prosecute a suit. Many waivers have been challenged and thrown out in courts across the land.
Lastly to the person who wrote "So I organize a happy hour event and the law thinks I'm encouraging grown people to consume alcohol?" Sadly, yes. You may put yourself in a prime spot if someone attends your event, gets drunk and kills someone. It is a "foreseeable" consequence and in the absence of a Liability Waiver the law is going to assume you thought of that scenario and had prepared to prevent it - i.e. you took on the responsibility.
Yes, protect the organizers. It would be helpful if we had access to basic waivers that we could print out that members were aware of. At any event a member could get hurt...
Donna Schwarz-Nielsen commented
This idea has got to have come out of America. The land of the free and the sued.
Liability for what? Driving to the event? Stubbing your toe on a chair? Not liking the person your sitting next to? Come on people. Maybe it's time for grown ups to take responsibility for their own actions.
Amy B. commented
I'm afraid to head any sort of group event whatsoever because of this. While it wouldn't be my fault if some person hurt themselves, I would still be blamed for being there or "encouraging" them to attend (which is crap. No one is forcing anyone to attend anything). While I may likely win a dismissal, just like Lexi points out, its money none of us have right now to fight a case with. I agree on a clause or something attached to the RSVP.
This is a moot point.
Meetup will not (ever!) provide tools regarding liability issues.
Does FaceBook? MySpace? Anyone else?
It WOULD be nice for MU to provide a simple, basic, waiver suggestion to Organizers, that could be customized & made part of the RSVP process. But this is a global website - how would all local laws be covered?
The minute they offer ANYTHING like this, the complaints will flood in that it doesn't cover someone's specific circumstances.
It just won't happen.
My understanding is that members DO sign a liability form in the terms and conditions for meetup.com.... but I think this only protects meetup.com, not the organizers. It would be REALLY nice to have a ready-made liability waiver integrated with the RSVP system.
And Philip: it is possible. When people file lawsuits, they tend to sue everyone involved and see what sticks. Even if you're not ultimately found liable, the legal costs of getting yourself dismissed from the case are still going to be more than most people can afford/want to pay...
This is why it would be nice to have an integrated liability waiver: having people sign paper waivers just to go get some drinks makes the organizer seem paranoid... but stuff DOES happen...
Liability is something no one wants to think about. No one wants to think that a member, the venue or another patron at the venue may raise a lawsuit against the group with you as the organiser held responsible. But occasionally it happens just as fires burn down houses or you can get sick.
Liability is a form of insurance. But as not for profit social groups I doubt any of us have the money or knowhow to do this themselves.
Some are Private commented
Janet Skinner - Shut your frakin trap! with that negative ass attitude. Maybe you have some shit to hide.
janet skinner commented
whats important about it...? why be anonymous? you got something to hide? maybe your a HQ junkie making fake suggestions
So I organize a happy hour event and the law thinks I'm encouraging grown people to consume alcohol?