Moab - Concerns - IMPORTANT - All Participants please read.

Hi All,

I have (and other memebers also) some concerns regarding Compensation and Litigation in the advent someone who is affiliated with the ride is injured, maimed or even killed.

WE need to discuss this with all parties who wish to attend the ride. All parties need to understand that they participate in the First "Unofficial" ride at their own risk. Afterall, I could be sued for coming up with the idea and Bryan could be sued for supporting the idea. So, let us get away from this all together.

Here are some ideas;

1. All parties sign some type of Zero responsibility agreement. All praticipants attend at their own risk and their own insurance policies

2. That is all I have.....

I truly hope I have not offended anybody and if so I appologise. But, we need to be certain that all parties understand what they are getting into. That they do so at their own risk of injury or happiness. Afterall, it can be a very dangerous sport and very expensive. Friends are friends, but greiving families are something else.

Bryan, LawDog, Kevin, Rod and the others. Your thoughts and feedback would truly be appreciated.

Bryan, appologies for this email. I just think that we need to announce this to all persons. If there is an attourney out there who rides, please, attach your thoughts on this matter.


I concur, Mitchie. Better safe than sorry.

I have heard of private parties opening their land up for the kids to enjoy riding their bikes. One kid gets hurt, his parent's sue the landowner. Now the landowner is paying for letting his heart make decisions for him.

This exact thing occurred in Maryland.

If everybody took responsibility for his/her own actions, the world would be a better place.

Too many people point their finger at everybody else, except for the person in the mirror.

What has this world come to?


99 WR, all YZ mods, de-octopused, OEM YZ tank and seat, jetting by Clark.


For clarification: WE'LL be having a KICK ASS time in Moab!! Right Mitchy & Bill?!!

Kevin, I live in Maryland. Could you tell me what happened? I ride in a couple places that are privately owned and have signed waivers. I would never consider suing someone who had the common decency to let me ride on their land. This sport is most definately ride at your own risk no matter where you ride. Something needs to be done about these people who point the finger and try to get some money out of their negligence. I know of a youngster who was killed two years ago on CSX property, due to a downed powerline. I don't know if his family is trying to sue CSX or not. That incident was in New Market MD. I sometimes ride CSX property and trains are nothing to play with but if anything happened to me it's nobodys fault but my own. Hope you guys get it worked out and have a great safe ride.


I'm no lawyer but... I'll give you my two-cents anyway. First I would send an e-mail to a riding club that organizes rides like this and ask for their advice.

My advice:

I think the more you and Brian "organize" the trip the greater your exposure. For example, setting up the rides for different skill levels. If someone gets in over their head, and hurt, a claim might be made that you should have known better as the "organizer." I also understand that you arranging things such as accommodations. While that is great because you can get us a group rate etc, it might be construed by a grieving party that you were responsible as the promoter/organizer/guide.

*** I could be very wrong about the next part. I have a bevy of lawyers at work and I'll ask one of them for advice. I'll get back to you.*** I think that the more you try to get people to sign things like waivers the MORE it looks like you ARE a promoter. Unless you plan to go all the way and BE a promoter and GET insurance, it seems like the signed waivers work against a defense of non-responsibility. ???

My uneducated advice would be to step away from "organizing" and just post that some guys/gals from the Forum are getting together over the weekend to ride. I would "paste" the Forum with posts like(but not exactly like)the following:

(Preface that you are sorry to have to say these things, but…)

This is an independent ride on Oct 7-9, 00 in Moab, Utah. You are welcome to join. This is not a sanctioned or organized event by any individual or group. You are responsible for your own transportation, equipment and accommodations. Riding in Moab can be (or “is”) dangerous. You are responsible for educating yourself on the conditions for safe riding consistent with your riding expertise and physical condition. You are independently responsible for deciding where you choose to ride and what you are capable of riding. No other attendees will act as a guide or instructor. You attend at your own risk.

(Don't prepare and distribute any trail info yourself. People can get their own PUBLISHED trail info from another entity. You could probably say WHERE to get the published info)

I will follow up with you.

John, thanks for the info. Keep running this info with your lawyer friends

So, if we publish and organise the ride that way, are we still not the organisers?

Also, arranging accomodation for group discounts, how can that be construded as an official organised ride?

If we decide as a group, on the day, about where to ride, then would that not be considered safe?


e-mail me and I'll discuss if you like.

Another Mid Life Guy... I am having a bit of a mental block at the moment. I cant remember your name. I have spoken to so many people and I am having a hard time associating a name with a number and email address... AGGGHHHHHHH

Send me a response to my person email address

Mitch - thank you so much.

Moab is dangerous and we are not talking about just a few cuts and bruises. The last thing we want out of this vacation is to ruin the forum that has gotten us together. That said, is running a similar group ride in Illinois this summer. They have taken the official route with daily fees, planned and organized rides, etc. They are requiring all participants to be members of the AMA (not a bad idea-mind you) for insurance purposes. As John mentioned, this could really open a can of worms liability wise. After all we will not be riding around the cornfields of Illinois. And not that their spodfest won’t be a ton of fun, it is just less dangerous than WFO in the desert.

As it stands right now, I don’t see ThumperTalk doing anything official to support our Moab efforts other than providing this wonderful bulletin board system for communicating. Bryan, may not even need to come along :) He could show up, as BOB and no one outside of Denver would know different – right.


I am riding off the first cliff I can find and then will sue you for a million oatmeal pies. Just kidding

I agree without any structure there is no organization, just some guys out to get togather and ride. If any one does get hurt I will give them an Oatmeal Pie.

FYI Guys: (and per my e-mail to you Mitch)

I found an attorney who formerly specialized in motor sports liability disclaimers, releases and defenses. He personally had Sears Point Raceway and SCCA (auto cross) events. His partner represented motorcycle groups that sponsored events (apparently this partner/lawyer is also a hell of a dirt bike rider). He said there were definitely liability issues. It is complicated since each State has its own release and liability laws etc. He will research whether it is best to have disclaimers or signed releases or both and pull together drafts for me to send to Mitch and Brian. He will also review with another attorney who is doing this work currently. He will do all this pro bono (free!). More to come later.


I assume you've asked these guys to join us in Moab? I'll refrain from lawyer bashing - I promise :)



Absolutely! If they come, we can all donate to their libations (beerz). If they don't come, I'll be buying them a fancy dinner with their wives and you guy's can cover my beer tab and bail in Moaaaaab!!!!

I'm not a lawyer, but I've always followed the reasons for all of our private motorcycle parks closing down over the years. Bottom line: they can't get liability insurance, because the park operators always get sued. In California a signed release and waiver means virtually nothing. Anyone can sue you for any reason, regardless of what they have signed. The plaintiff simply needs to identify some form of negligence. It basically comes down to the fact that an agreement (waiver/release) can't be made that is contrary to law. The law states that people can sue for any reason. We all lose, the lawyers win. Every time Tort reform comes on the ballot, the Trial Lawyers Association dumps millions into a media dis-information blitz, and it gets voted down. :)

Sounds like John in Granite Bay has you guys covered. Now, nobody here is my client, and I am here in the role of practicing law or representing you, and neither, by any stretch, is my firm.

BUT -- I think you should get the waivers John is having drafted and have them signed. I think the benefits of protecting yourselves through this process outweigh the risks that such a course of action will add to your exposure by making you look more like organizers.

A few "general" points: 1) it is true that liability and affirmative defenses vary by state; 2) I do not know the laws of Utah -- (that's why you go with John's retained lawyers; 3) in many states it seems like you can sue for any reason, but you cannot (well you can file a complaint, but you won't get very far); 4) in many states the reason you can sue despite a waiver is that "you cannot waive someone else's negligence." That is, if someone else acts negligently, you can sue them, even if you signed a generalized waiver beforehand; 5) in many states outdoor activities that lead to damage are not considered negligent unless there are compelling circumstances. Further, even organized sporting events are understood to carry some element of (non-actionable) risk. Examples: a) a body surfer in Cal. broke his neck diving into the surf. The jury felt sorry for him and awarded liability against the city for not posting signs -- overturned in a very clear manner. :) I know of no state where you could win a lawsuit based on being hit by a foul ball at a professional baseball game. c) On the other hand, a bunch of guys bodysurfing is different than a bunch of guys engaging in some cool contest (who can do the most flips off that rock) in connection with an organized retreat.

I, for one, would refrain from any organized activities, other than generally ride around like a bunch of unconnected guys that bumped into each other, and happen to ride together, in the same manner in which each would have ridden by his own darn self! Catch my drift?

Please remember. If I were representing any or all of you I would most definitely update my knowledge in this particular area of the law, and as regards Utah, in particular. I HAVE NOT DONE SO. I just thought I'd let you know some generalities.

Bottom line: follow the advice of your lawyers, and have fun. Wish I could be there.

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