View Full Version : LAW Question
03-04-2003, 07:45 PM
please answer this question if you have a law backround. I think that USA Hockey inline's sanction agreement and/or insurance policy states that all persons in the league must be insured with them. I also hear rumor that if one is missing, it voids the policy. My question is if I get hurt in a sanctioned game on X team, and a player on Y team (who is not at all involved with this injury) is not insured, will my claim still be paid?
Also, if your answer is no, what if any are legal ramifications of this and how does USA get away with this?
Maybe I am uninformed. Does anyone know of any legal action involving such a thing? Even if in another sport. I just am using USA Hockey as an example since many of you are probably familiar with it.
03-04-2003, 08:07 PM
First, I would consult legal council as I am still a few years from getting my J.D., but if your contract does not clearly stay that such an incident will make your insurance null and void, you do have a claim. Furthermore, the rink can also be held liable, especially if negligence is established. Despite what hear say is, if any injury happens and it can be proved that the incident may not have occurred or would have had less of a chance to occur if the reffing was done sufficient (meanings refs allowing players to hurt eachother without trying to stop it), can be also held to some liability as well. These are some of the reasons why liability insurance is both necessary and in a lot of cases, extremely expensive. I am speaking on what I do know off the top of my head. Each state my be different and like I said before, if you have any doubt seek legal council. Also, try to find a local law library. Most will allow any citizen access (here in orange county,ca we have to put a one time 100 dollar deposit down in order to gain access). I hope this helps. Remember ALWAYS read the fine print of a contract as well as the entire contract before entering in it.
03-04-2003, 08:12 PM
As a former subscriber to the Recreation Law Reporter newsletter, and I work with our local city attorney's office regularly as part of the recreation administrator job, I offer the following:
1. USAHIL, and any other organizing group, needs to establish a process of enrollment, limiting risk, and policing the process. It is this basis that the policy is issued to begin with...
2. That someone not insured is involved in an accident does not void everybody else's policy.
3. The non-insured person takes a great risk in (a) not being able to receive any insurance benefits, (b) being a primary lawsuit target, (c) assuming all the liability for suit, should the insurance company decide not to pay up...
4. That the USAHIL policy includes individual liability insurance is an extremely cool thing. I know that you were just citing USAHIL as an example, but I don't know if other policies have this as well.
5. USAHIL, specifically through its league directors, and member league organizations, enforces and demands full compliance with its enrollment process. USAHIL would be able to demonstrate in court that is takes every reasonable, and even professional level effort to get everybody signed up.
5. A League Director and organization would likewise need to show that it had in place a process to demand compliance of its players/refs/coaches, and that the reason a person was not enrolled was the cause/fault of action by the non-compliant person, not the League.
I, of course, bow to the attorney out there, should he find any fault with my statements or their contents. In terms of the legal tenants of "foreseeability and warning," this type of question is something I deal with every day.
03-04-2003, 08:43 PM
Hey guys thought I'd throw in what I've been told (by the league president) about our house leagues AAU membership. Form what he says, we are covered any time we are playing inline hockey, I don't believe thats true, and if anyone knows can you let me know?
Leagues can solve this problem by not letting anyone step foot on the floor without showing their membership card (be it AAU, USAHIL, or anyone else) I know all of our local leagues do it and they have never had a problem with anyone being insurance-less or sueing the rink since implementing this rule, the one thing about it is you should make sure you do not let anyone on with showing their card, NO ONE AT ALL. The league can't be lax about this or the league loses respect just like it does when other rules aren't enforced.
03-04-2003, 08:57 PM
The responses by DannyG and CaliHockey are excellent. Insurance policies by different organizing bodies do differ, so its difficult to answer your question for every insurance policy out there. As CaliHockey stated, the insurance coverage is dictated by the language of the insurance policy. Yes you will most likely need a law degree to understand the legal language in the policies, however, sometimes the brochures put out explaining the insurance policy in plain english can be binding. Oral representations are difficult to enforce, so you want to get your answer in writing. Ironically, while these types of policies do differ, most of these supplemental insurance programs are underwritten by the same insurance company. Don't forget that with USA Hockey's Inline insurance, only USA Hockey sanctioned events are covered.
03-04-2003, 09:03 PM
What do ou mean by anytime playing hockey. I would assume it is only at aau sactioned leagues or tourneys.
03-04-2003, 09:40 PM
From what I was told was if you have your membership card with you then you are covered. I don't know wether or not to believe it.
03-04-2003, 11:09 PM
I've heard that too, but I also doubted that it was true.
03-10-2003, 07:28 PM
to whom it may concern,
i may not have 100% true understanding on what USA inline does, but i do know some partial information relating to their insurance program. i too am a soon to be law student at Michigan State Unversity, and have heard stories and cases relating to these insurance matters. but for the most part, i too have been involved with USA Inline for the past 6 years or so. From my understanding, the rink where the accident occured must in fact be a USA inline sanctioned facility. Secondly, it is usually only in severe cases when USA Inline hockey insurance steps in, meaning that if an incident does in fact occur, USA pays for much of the bill after your PRIMARY insurance has paid its part. Which means, basically only in catastrophic cases or severe cases. I have had broken ribs, stitches and much much more, and i have yet to have had USA pay for anything, but thats usually because my primary insurance goes up to like 3 quarters of a million dollars...if forsay something worse than that would happen where i was have to have amputation of a limb, or a fake hip or something where i am in the hospital for a few months, then by all means, USA would then jump in and help with bills over teh 750,000 bucks...so hopefully that makes sense to all you guys who were inquiring about events such as insurance claims, and to be honest, i am not sure whether or not they pay for your bills if you had NO primary insurance at all. since i have stopped working at my rink, i no longer am up to date on some of the information, but what you could do if in fact you were curious about the legal side of things, you could call USA Inline and ask them any questions you might have; i am sure theyd be more than happy to answer your questions. thanks boys and girls for your time and efforts,
03-10-2003, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the info David, and good luck with law school :-)
04-15-2003, 03:41 PM
USAHIL does not hold the individual players responsible for ensuring that every other player, coach and referee in the game is currently and properly registered. So in your scenario, USAHIL would not hold you reposible and your insurance claim, assuming you are properly registered and playing in a sanctioned event, would be covered.
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USA Hockey InLine
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