Legal protection for Covid-19?

I appreciate the checklist for hosts for Covid-19 that Peerspace has developed, but part of me wonders: Are hosts creating legal liability for themselves by using the checklist?

I am not an attorney, but I’ve drafted some language to include with my checklist, and I’d love to get your feedback:

Paul wants you to have a safe experience and is doing his best to help you, but he is not Dr. Fauci. Please don’t sue him.

The property at 123 Main St is provided on an “as is” basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. Paul makes no representation about the reduction of risk from Covid-19 or any other disease. Paul disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, including, without limitation, warranties of the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfecting protocols and the reduction of risk from Covid-19 or any other disease.

What do you guys think? Anything to add/change/delete? Feel free to use this language if you like, though I make no representation or warranties as to the effectiveness of this language to protect you from liability risk. I’m not an attorney! So please don’t sue me. :smile:

(Jeesh, we love to sue each other in America, don’t we?)

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Hi Paul,
With all the restaurants, bars, gyms, etc. opening back up across the country I think it’s unlikely that people will be suing people who rent out their spaces for exposing them to Covid-19. (unless is was an example of extreme gross negligence) I think that your warning is more likely to make people uncomfortable and unsure about the safety of renting your space. Peerspace offers liability insurance that should cover you if someone did try to sue you. Personally I think you might be creating a problem where one doesn’t currently exist. If it did suddenly become an issue you could always revise you policy in response.
JMHO
-Peter NYC

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Sorry, but limited liability releases are SUPER SUPER important for us hosts and having a disclaimer in our contracts that we are not liable if someone gets sick with Covid-19 while in our space is equally important as if they get hurt in our space!!! Having a limited liability release about getting hurt doesn’t scare anyone away from renting, and neither will including a disclaimer for Covid-19. Not that there are many renters that even read PeerSpace’s contracts, it’s still important to have them properly written.

PeerSpace, please provide us hosts with a Covid-19 health disclaimer in the PeerSpace terms of service ASAP!!!

This needs to be embedded in PeerSpace’s site rules which cover all hosts, and not left to each individual host to write a long legal document in our site description (which would scare people off).

The ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) just had a very good webinar about this and provided a sample Covid-19 contract for production spaces and I recommend PeerSpace use it as a framework also. Thanks!

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I agree that having peerspace embed something into their guest agreement is important.
I still stand by my original point that I, as an individual, would not want to present a Covid-19 warning specifically relating to my space, to potential guests.
P

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Great points. Hard topic. I too read all the Peerspace rules and am hesitant to add any of my listings, I rep many spaces here. I will be leaning on my production crews to set up all the hygiene/safety rules and have them sign off prior to any shoot. I will have the location fully cleaned and sanitized and my owners and I will meet with our masks on and leave the space. I will first check that they set up properly. If they give me any pushback to my rules beforehand, I can’t accept a booking. I will not be held liable and I don’t think that would fly anywhere. Keep a clean and safe space is all we can do…

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I kind of agree with Peter on this topic. That disclaimer would make me worry about renting your place. I don’t see how this is the same as someone getting physically hurt on your property… it would be like someone coming down with the flu afterwards. How could they trace that back to your space? Even if they did contact tracing and found out a bunch of other people on the shoot also got sick, it could have easily been a crew member that brought it in and not your space. I think the liability would be next to impossible to prove unless people can prove you were clearly ignoring the masks/sanitizer/distancing requirements or there were several shoots that this happened on. But if you have your P’s and Q’s covered (for instance as soon as you walk into my studio there is a Purell station, a pile of masks, and 3 different signs stating the rules), I don’t see where the liability comes in.

Of course I am not a lawyer and this could be terrible legal advice. So take that with a grain of salt.

As @Leon_S mentioned above, and I have referenced before, ASMP.org has some great resources on this topic. For my photography business, we have created our own Health and Safety Policies and Procedures document. This documents the steps we are taking to clean and sanitize our studio, as well as protocols like physical distancing and wearing masks. So here you are saying, “These are the steps we are taking to keep you safe.”

Following that, we have a Health Check and Release of Liability form that they fill out and sign. In this document, they are certifying that they do not have symptoms and are not at high risk (to lessen our risk of getting sick), and that they have reviewed our Policies and Procedures and accept them. By signing they are saying they will not hold us responsible if they get sick.

Clients appreciate that we are handling it professionally and taking it seriously.

Note: You should not just provide a waiver (release) without the accompanying defined protocols, and a release will not protect you if you are indeed negligent.

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