Jump to content



Photo

Hold Harmless Agreement


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Bryan Fowler

Bryan Fowler

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 370 posts
  • Chattanooga, TN

Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:57 PM

I have a job that involves an explosion. The city bomb squad is doing the detonating.

I am being asked to sign a hold harmless agreement. It's the first one I've ever seen, much less heard of. Basically saying, I can't sue them if I get hurt on set.

Is that normal?

Thanks for the help.
It's a low budget show... naturally.
  • 0

#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2922 posts
  • LA, Ca

Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:25 AM

I have a job that involves an explosion. The city bomb squad is doing the detonating.

I am being asked to sign a hold harmless agreement. It's the first one I've ever seen, much less heard of. Basically saying, I can't sue them if I get hurt on set.

Is that normal?

Thanks for the help.
It's a low budget show... naturally.



Nope sorry that's a no go.

Here's how the law works (as I've been told since I'm neither a lawyer or play one on TV) IF you are there on your own accord then yes they can have you sign it, BUT since you are there at the direction of others and would not be there otherwise then they are responsible for your safety.
  • 0

#3 William Demeritt

William Demeritt

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1057 posts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:25 AM

I have a job that involves an explosion. The city bomb squad is doing the detonating.

I am being asked to sign a hold harmless agreement. It's the first one I've ever seen, much less heard of. Basically saying, I can't sue them if I get hurt on set.

Is that normal?

Thanks for the help.
It's a low budget show... naturally.


Is the Hold Harmless agreement from the City Bomb Squad or city you're working in? Or is it from the production asking you to hold harmless the production company?

If it's the city bomb squad, I'd make sure that you and your gear is protected by the production insurance (I would assume so, if the city bomb squad is setting off the det then you're obviously permitted for it, and the permit wouldn't come without insurance).

If it's the production that wants you to sign away your protection in the event the detonation goes wrong, I'd be concerned and seek further explanation for why.
  • 0

#4 Robert Starling SOC

Robert Starling SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1134 posts
  • Las Vegas, NV

Posted 21 October 2009 - 01:04 AM

Hey Bryan,

Even at full-rate if you were injured would it be worth it? Accidents happen despite the best intentions and safety measures.

Some production policies specifically exclude pyro and explosives.

I couldn't tell from your web site if you're 600 or not but I don't think the East Coast has the Safety Passport system and classes we have here. Maybe they do? Hearing protection, eye and face protection, protective clothing; there's a lot to it and as camera operators it's common for us to be right in the middle of the action.

There's obviously danger and hazards involved otherwise they would not ask you to sign this.

Unless you have 100% complete understanding, 100% control of your safety and they have proper insurance coverage it sounds like you'd be best to decline this one.
  • 0

#5 Ken Nguyen

Ken Nguyen

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 245 posts
  • California & Viet Nam

Posted 21 October 2009 - 02:37 AM

Bryan,
It is a normal procedure, if you are not hired directly by the city bomb squad.
And, if you are working with a special effect team.
If any thing happens to you during the production, the city bomb squad or special effect company holds no liability.
But you claim it on the production company and its insurance.
Your production company can sue the bomb squad or the Sfx company.
But your production can not represent you to sue them.
This what I was explained years ago. I don't think it change much now a day.

Well, I don't think the bomb squad members pay no attention on what you are doing and where you are positioning.
I'm very sure that you will be instructed of what to do and don't.
Be alert; pay attention on the bomb squad instruction, always make sure that they know where you are.
Cheers,
Ken.
  • 0

#6 Alfeo Dixon SOC

Alfeo Dixon SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 756 posts
  • Atlanta

Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:47 AM

Bryan,

Make sure that you also have your RF devices cleared with the bomb squad! If they are setting off devices remotely, you do not want to have anything that will bleed over to their signal. Back on topic.

The way I was explained when working in locations and dealing with legal departments, is that the hold harmless protects the the company or individual asking for the agreement from being directly sued. If a party had a claim, they would have to sue the insurance company associated with that company.

Lets back up a second, did they ask you to work as an independent contractor or did you fill out start paper work to become an employee? If contractor, then you can be held liable and exposed to being sued for even standing on set (I kid not, woman driving by see's armed alien man with advanced weapon attached and hits another...it could happen). If employee (which we are and will be if seen be a court) then the company hiring you is responsible for everything you do for them.

The independent contractor bit is tricky and you need to make sure that you have all your proper coverages and first and foremost a workers comp policy. If you do not have a workers comp policy, then they legally could not hire you as an independent contractor, but how the heck has the time or money for those long legal battles it something did happen.

-Alfeo "Not a lawyer, nor legal advisor... but wish I DID play one on TV!"
  • 0

#7 Bryan Fowler

Bryan Fowler

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 370 posts
  • Chattanooga, TN

Posted 21 October 2009 - 08:09 AM

Thanks everyone for the quick response.

I'm an independent contractor on this one.
The HHA specifically lists the Director as the "I won't sue you " person.
Robert: Nope, not 600 but heading there. I only mentioned it was low budget to give more info. You are right, large or small show, I still want to go home to see my wife. =)

I've had no contact with the bomb squad...yet.

I've copied the agreement below, and replaced specific names with generic ones. It looks like an internet form, which is fine I guess, but might help explain something.




In consideration for receiving permission to participate in the ______________________ _________________________________ (the “Scene”), I, _________________________________________________ (the “Participant”), hereby release, waive, discharge, and covenant not to sue Directors Name
(the “Director/Producer”) and/or _____________________________________, nor any of their officers, servants, agents, and/or employees (collectively the “Releasees”), from any and all liability, claims, demands, actions, and causes of action whatsoever arising out of or relating to any loss, damage, or injury, including death, that may be sustained by me, or to any property belonging to me, whether caused by the negligence of the Releasees, or otherwise, while participating in the Scene, or while in, on, or upon the premises where the Scene is being filmed, while in transit to or from the premises, or any place(s) connected with the Scene or, generally, the motion picture project currently entitled “Project Name” (the “Picture”).
B. I am fully aware of the risks and hazards connected with being on the premises and participating in the Scene. I am fully aware that there may be risks and hazards unknown to me connected with being on the premises and participating in the Scene. I hereby elect to voluntarily participate in the Scene, to enter upon the premises, and to engage in activities connect with, related to, or arising out of my participation in the Scene, knowing that conditions may be hazardous, or may become hazardous or dangerous to me and/or my property. I voluntarily assume full responsibility for any risks of loss, damage, or personal injury, including death, that may be sustained by me, or any loss or damage to property owned by me, as a result of my participation in the Scene, whether caused by the negligence of the Releasees or otherwise.

C. I hereby agree to indemnify and save and hold harmless the Releasees and each of them from any loss, liability, damage, or costs they may incur due to my participation in the Scene, whether caused by the negligence of any or all of the Releasees or otherwise.
D. It is my express intent that this Release shall bind the members of my family and my spouse, if I am alive, and my heirs, assigns, and personal representatives, if I am deceased, and shall be deemed as a Release, Waiver, Discharge, and Covenant Not to Sue the above named Releasees.
In signing this Release, I, the Participant, acknowledge and represent that:
1. I have read the foregoing Release. I understand it. I sign it voluntarily as my own free act and deed;
2. No oral representation, statements, or inducements, apart from the foregoing written agreement, have been made;
3. I am at least eighteen years of age and fully competent, or, if I am under the age of eighteen, I have discussed this Release and the Scene with my parent or legal guardian, and my parent or legal guardian has approved and signed below; and
4. I execute this Release for full, adequate, and complete consideration fully intending to be bound by the same.
  • 0

#8 Jerry Holway

Jerry Holway

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 737 posts
  • Philadelphia

Posted 21 October 2009 - 08:26 AM

Bryan-

Walk away.

Jerry
  • 0

#9 Ken Nguyen

Ken Nguyen

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 245 posts
  • California & Viet Nam

Posted 21 October 2009 - 10:55 AM

Bryan,
As Jerry advised, YES, walk away.

Your form is ridiculous;
I signed a few but non of mine are similar or close to yours.
I think they hired a non-film lawyer to wrote that.
This is very close copy of the form for boxing and martial art performer, NOT for us.

Worth nothing to risk,
Ken.
  • 0

#10 Bryan Fowler

Bryan Fowler

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 370 posts
  • Chattanooga, TN

Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:01 AM

Thanks again everyone for the advice.

I spoke with the director this morning. He said the HHA was his entertainment lawyers idea, and was intended to be a blanket clause for the whole film. He said I didn't need to sign it, and that the insurance cert that he sent was intended to cover me (body and gear)

But now it's sounding like the bomb squad can't do it, so...that might take care of it. =)

Thanks again for the fast advice.
I also spoke with my attorney, he corroborated what you guys are saying, and what I was thinking. So we're all on the same page.

Bryan "is getting older and smarter" Fowler

(still a ways to go) =)
  • 0




Engineered Cinema Solutions

Varizoom Follow Focus

Omnishot Systems

rebotnix Technologies

SkyDreams

PLC Electronics Solutions

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

PLC - Bartech

BOXX

GPI Pro Systems

Teradek

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

IDX

Boland Communications

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wireless Video Systems