[Ansteorra] Of Waterbearing and Waivers....

Aline Swynbrook alineswynbrook at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 17 18:03:36 PDT 2008

As one of the fun-sucking hellspawn....errr...attorneys on the list, I would like to take a minute to comment on the "But isn't this why we have waivers?" line of questions.  First a quick disclaimer:  I am licensed in and best know the law in Oklahoma.  I do not practice in TX, or the rest of the known world.  None of the following should be construed as binding legal advice, nor as an agreement to represent, now as a contract establishing an attorney-client relationship.

Waivers are only as good as the LEGAL activities they cover.  For example, in everyday life, martial arts are a legal activity.  So generally is archery.  They are also "dangerous" activities.  This is generally what is covered by the SCA waiver.  A waiver DOES NOT waive a person's protection from illegal or regulated activity.  An extreme example is murder.  If John Q. Serial killer and I make an agreement that he can kill and eat me, he still gets prosecuted for my murder, because law is meant to protect society, not necessarily the individual.  

Under modern health codes and regulations, if there are sanitation requirements for how food and beverages are provided to the public, the SCA doesn't get to ignore it because people signed a waiver.  We are still responsible for following modern law, regulations, and administrative codes.  

However, I think that in this case the BOD might be worried less about Lord Doe suing the society because he caught x-virus from the waterbearers than Lord Doe reporting it to the Health Department and having every aspect of food/beverage distribution in the SCA under much tighter scrutiny.  It would also likely be a public relations fiasco.

Just my 2 pence worth.

Aline Swynbrook
(MKA Rebecca L. Williams, Esq)


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