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View Full Version : The legal side of coverage for your haunt



SeanMassacre
08-23-2012, 10:50 AM
We are in our 5th year as a haunt and only getting larger. Does anyone have any recommendation on the legal verbiage for covering your ass with people injuring themselves in your haunted attraction? We have heard that putting the information on the tickets and signage is a great way.

Please help. I know that the haunt community is a great way to get ideas from others and we are all helpful to one and other.

HauntedPaws
08-23-2012, 11:19 AM
Unfortunately verbiage and signage won't stop the ambulance chaser. You're best and really only option is to put enough hurdles in their way to make it not feasible to sue you for something. Signage is probably the best way. Making someone sign something isn't even 100% foolproof.

zombietoxin
08-25-2012, 08:15 AM
Agreed.

Additionally the way you handle an accident- at the time it happens and afterward is equally important. Have a plan- a good plan- and written policy, including forms to gather all the important facts. Then practice with your staff.

Finally, the most important of all- risk mitigation! Stop and prevent 100% of what you know you can. Details details details. Know a local insurance guy? Invite him to walk the haunt with you and visually tear it apart.

Make a list of things that concern you and categorize them into things you control and things you cannot control.

Already have injuries? Keep a log of them and include the steps you took to prevent them from happening again. Review them with your staff yearly.

Bottom line is you are in a business with extended risks- that's why you have to have additional insurance over and above your typical property liability.

HauntedPaws
08-25-2012, 09:27 PM
Also as I recall according to the legal seminar at Transworld you should be renting you're building from your properties company, leasing you props from you prop company, and you're staff are provided from another company. Essentially you're haunt owns no property this way, your other companies do. Hence a hurdle to overcome for them.

BarnofTerror Noblesville
08-28-2012, 11:22 AM
Also as I recall according to the legal seminar at Transworld you should be renting you're building from your properties company, leasing you props from you prop company, and you're staff are provided from another company. Essentially you're haunt owns no property this way, your other companies do. Hence a hurdle to overcome for them.

Would this be the same as what i have done, i created CR Haunts LLC, and i am renting the property from someone and renting equipment from me personally and my staff is all volunteers. Doesnt the LLC have the sole responsibility if someone were to sue us all they can get to is the LLC which only has $100 in a checking account. Therefore i will not lose all my stuff, the lady will not lose her farm, and my volunteers will not be sued personally?!

~Ryan

Jim Warfield
08-28-2012, 08:49 PM
A few years ago. Someone stated that in some states, in some courtrooms, having the LLC gets laughed at and thrown out and the Judge says how things are going to happen.....
Taking all possible precautions by designing a haunt and operating it with enough helpers to really watch and control whatever numbers of bodies you have in it at one time helps more than anything else , excpet banning "Running" and enforcing this, because anybody may become very badly injured from just falling because they were running and tripped.
I like the legal system in New Zealand handling injury claims, sort of a no-fault thing UNLESS there can be extreme negligence proven. Their Government has everyone insured. (99% sure this is what I was told anyway)