On June 10, 2020, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for British Columbia ordered Ministerial Order M183 (the “Order”) – Protection Against Liability for Sports (COVID-19), under the authority of the Emergency Program Act. This Order protects:
sport organizations and their directors, officers, employees and volunteers that organize, administer, facilitate or provide organized sport activities from liability for damages relating, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19.
For the Order to apply, the amateur sport organization and individuals who operate or provide the activities, must do so in accordance with all applicable emergency and public health guidance. Or they must reasonably believe they are operating and providing those activities in accordance with all emergency and public health guidance. Emergency and public health guidance for amateur sport organizations include the viaSport British Columbia Return to Sport Guidelines for BC. The protection of this Order will not apply if the sport organization, or those working for or volunteering for the organization, were grossly negligent in the operation or facilitation of the activities. Gross negligence includes acts or omissions that represent a marked departure from the normal standard of care and which typically has the potential to cause serious harm.
It was questionable whether amateur organized sport activities would operate this summer because of health and liability concerns related to the possible transmission of COVID-19. However, the Provincial Government acknowledged this concern by issuing this Order to allow amateur sport organizations to operate without the worry of incurring liability for the transmission of COVID-19. This Order works by protecting the organization as a whole, including those that serve as directors and officers and those who work as employees and volunteers.
If you have questions or concerns about how the Order applies to liability for COVID-19 claims regarding sport organizations, please contact a member of the Clark Wilson Insurance Law Group.