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sign off sheet for a waiver of liability and property damage

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Nascar24, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Nascar24

    Nascar24 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    I got an e-mail from a customer who purchased a plow from me recently, he asked if I knew where he could get a copy of a sign off sheet for a waiver of liability and property damage for residential driveways. He said he had the typical long contracts that he typically issues when he signs up a new account, but he was looking for a short form that he can use for the driveby situations that seem to be increasing in his area.

    Anyone use anything like this?

  2. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    So wait, you want the customer to release you, the contractor (ok, him) from any and all liability or property damage caused by you the contractor's actions???????/

    Who the heck would ever sign that?

    You break it, you fix it.

    Why would anyone use your service?
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Sure, my contracts all include a "hold harmless" statement. We state that "snowplowing is a risky endeavor performed in adverse hostile conditions and therefore presents the possibility of inadvertent damage beyond our control" We basically claim no liability beyond cost of services. However; no one can sign away their right to sue, and while a Hold Harmless can protect you to a certain point (sod at drive edges, overhanging shrubs, mailboxes, etc... ) no judge will dismiss a suit based on the a customers signature on a contract if the plaintiff is claiming "depraved indifference", or any other fancy legal term for you F&$ked up. At most you have reached an agreement as to the parameters of service and outlined whose responsibilities lie where. Not that you shouldn't include a Hold Harmless clause but don't except it to stop a law suit. It could possibly effect the outcome, possibly but you still could be talking to the judge. Write it (Hold Harmless) that is too one sided and the judge could throw the entire thing away.

    Send you a copy of mine, no I don't think so. Every state has its own requirements and your insurance company should review it as well, i don't need to be sued by someone claiming I misrepresented the protection they would receive from a piece of paper. Before you say you wouldn't do it, perhaps not but your insurance company would:nod:
  4. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    well said basher, although contract language in general is universal in the states; each state throughout the US may differ slightly; I would not recommend copying someone else's contract language especially from ANOTHER. JMO Hire an ATTORNEY for the couple hundred to draw up thats right for you.
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Pretend I am the customer and i see this

    What am I paying you for?

    What could possibly be "beyond your control"?

    you are in control of the equipment, you damaged my property (and it happens, it's reasonably expected), you better fix it.
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    If it's your garage door, car, or siding I sure will, but I cann't see under the snow, nor will I be responsible for problems based on natural acts of nature encountering a lack of maintenance (the mailbox post scenario). I also would include gravel grading or raking as the customer's responsibility unless otherwise stated in the contract.
  7. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    if the skate board was under the snow or the mailbox post was rotted you wouldnt be responible anyway that is the customers negligence.. If you hit their car however you might have a issue.

    If you put any kind of hold harmless clause or a claim to imdemnify in a contract the judge can consider it a illegal contract and null and void.
    This has been my understanding of rental contracts anyway it probably applies to all contracts.
    It is against the law to have any broad language claiming imdemnity, and also against the law to require with signature someone to sign away any legal rights they may have.
    State and federal law supercedes all contract law.
    If the judge doesnt like your contract and considers it illegal or unfair in its writing you may up even worse off in court because he will think you were trying to take advantage of your customer and negligent with the contract. They can issue fines for unfair contracts.
    just a thought.

    i was told once that all laws are basically based on "what a normal person would consider prudent" and remind myself of that when considering if something would be my fault or not.
    a normal prudent person wouldnt ask you to pay for something you hit under the snow that their kid left out.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  8. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Contracts aren't written with normal prudent people in mind.
  9. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    AMEN!!!!!,well said, etc.....
  10. Nascar24

    Nascar24 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    I certainly did not want to create a big huff over this topic, just wanted to try and get some help for a small business owner with some ideas of what is out there for his attorney to review and make necessary changes. At $350 an hour the least amount of time his attorney does research the better, IMHO

    This is an example I got from one operator

    Snow Removal Service Agreement

    Acceptance of Proposal The agreed upon price of $ ________________, and verbal specifications and conditions are satisfactory and hereby accepted, the by the following number of pushes __________at a rate of $_________________ per push. Property owner understands and accepts this service is limited to a “one time service” and not for return during any single snow event.

    (Your Name Here) is authorized to do the work as verbally specified. Payment will be made in cash. (Your Name Here) is not responsible for any “normal wear and tear” of the areas to be serviced. Normal wear and tear is considered: any scratching, cracking, chipping or gouging etc., of the pavement, gravel or concrete and/or portions of grass/ vegetation surfaces , retaining walls, berms, ground water drains , fences and or any other items not identified by the property owner in or adjacent to the serviced areas.) (Your Name here) is also not responsible for any damages, legal or otherwise to other properties in which the property owner directs the operator to place the removed snow. The Property owner also accepts any and all responsibility and will hold the snow removal operator and his / her agents harmless for any future liabilities for; ice formations, placed or stored snow, or melted run off that may cause injury or physical peril related to contracted services of snow removal. Property Owner also must accept that all local, state, and federal by-laws can not be violated in placing unwanted snow on a public way in the process of performing any snow removal from said properties.

    Property Owner and or Representative’s Signature: ____________________________________ Address______________________________ __________________________________________________________________________
    Date of Acceptance___________________________ Time of Service Provided__________
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  11. Corman

    Corman Member
    Messages: 30

    thanks for sharing Nascar24. I am going to copy that and file it away for future possible use. I was thinking about how to word a clause to reduce our liabillty as a company.
  12. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    That kind of open to a lot of interruption, certainly nothing that can be defended in court.

    If it covers all of what you feel are the salient points, take it to a lawyer for review.
  13. Nascar24

    Nascar24 Senior Member
    Messages: 645


    Thanks guys for all your input, I sent my customer four or five examples, he said he's going to pass them by his attorney and then his insurance agent before he put his final version to work.

    Thanks again