BC Passes Order Giving Sporting Organizations Immunity From Covid Lawsuits

Today the BC Government passed Ministerial Order M183 which gives certain sporting organizations limited immunity to certain covid-19 related lawsuits.  Suits can still be brought in cases of gross negligence.

The full order reads as follows:

PROTECTION AGAINST LIABILITY FOR SPORTS (COVID-19) ORDER

Definitions 1 In this order:

Act” means the Emergency Program Act;

disability sport organization” means a non-profit society operating with a sporting purpose that is responsible for the organization, growth or development of a disability sport or a group of disability sport disciplines;

emergency and public health guidance”, in relation to an organized sport activity, means any of the following with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic: (a) an order made under the Act; (b) an instruction or order of a health officer, as defined in the Public Health Act; (c) guidelines of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control; (d) guidelines of the Public Health Agency of Canada; (e) guidelines published on a website maintained by or on behalf of the government; (f) guidelines of a health authority; (g) guidelines of a sport organization with respect to organizing, administering, facilitating or providing the organized sport activity; (h) guidelines of the viaSport British Columbia Society issued in 2020 relating to the return to sports;

exposed”, in relation to SARS-CoV-2, means to have been in contact with, or near, a person or thing that is or may be infected with SARS-CoV-2, in such a manner as to be at risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2;

health authority” means (a) a regional health board designated under the Health Authorities Act, (b) the First Nations Health Authority, or (c) the Provincial Health Services Authority;

local sport organization” means a non-profit society operating with a sporting purpose that administers sport at a local level;

multi-sport organization” means a non-profit society operating with a sporting purpose that leads or coordinates the delivery of services to other organizations;

organized sport activity” means an amateur sport or physical activity in which a number of persons are engaged in an organized way and that is organized, administered, facilitated or provided by a sport organization;

provincial sport organization” means a non-profit society operating with a sporting purpose that is responsible for the regulation, governance and development of all areas and levels of a sport within the Province;

sport organization” means (a) a disability sport organization,(b) a local sport organization, (c) a multi-sport organization, or (d) a provincial sport organization.

Application

2 This order applies during the period that starts on the date this order is made and ends on the date on which the last extension of the declaration of a state of emergency made March 18, 2020 under section 9 (1) of the Emergency Program Act expires or is cancelled.
Reliance on emergency and public health guidance

3 (1) A sport organization, or a director, officer, employee or volunteer of a sport organization, is not liable for damages resulting, directly or indirectly, from an individual being or likely being infected with or exposed to SARS-CoV-2 as a result of the organization, administration, facilitation or provision of an organized sport activity if, at the relevant time, the sport organization, or director, officer, employee or volunteer of the sport organization, (a) was organizing, administering, facilitating or providing the organized sport activity in accordance with all applicable emergency and public health guidance, or (b) reasonably believed that the organization, administration, facilitation or provision of the organized sport activity was in accordance with all applicable emergency and public health guidance.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a sport organization, or a director, officer, employee or volunteer of the sport organization if, in organizing, administering, facilitating or providing the organized sport activity, that sport organization or director, officer, employee or volunteer was grossly negligent.

Contact

If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.

ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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