A campaign rally event for President Trump on June 20th last year was notable for one thing – if nothing else. Upon registering for the event online, you had to sign something Americans call an adhesion contract. The gist of it was you had to make a promise to the event organisers – if you caught Covid-19 and it was traced back to the event, you could not then go ahead and sue President Trump, the organisers or anyone who did anything for them.
This trick has been tried before and is largely considered under US law to be unenforceable. Many of those who utilise such contracts think it means they don’t have to fulfill their own obligations – they mean nothing of the sort. And although we are talking about US law in this case, given that it has its origins in English law, some parallels could be drawn.
For example, anyone going to Circus in Liverpool has not been asked to sign a form on the way in promising not to sue Yousef, the guest DJs, bar staff, events manager, Yousef’s mother or anyone else you could conceivably (or inconceivably) think of if they catch Covid and have reason to believe they caught it there.
So, could a club in the UK be sued if it was proven they’d caught the dreaded coronavirus there? I contacted a few club owners about this, and they unanimously said they couldn’t or wouldn’t discuss it. Instead, I spoke to the same insider whom I referenced in this piece last Monday.
He said “The advice we’ve got is it would be difficult if not impossible. Even if contact tracers found a cluster originating in the club, you still might not know who brought it in – or whether they even all got it at the club. The legal advice we got is to do everything we reasonably can to stop its spread”.
And what are those things? “Well, providing lots of hand sanitiser, cleaning the bathrooms a lot more often, switching the ventilation on a higher setting, reducing the numbers in the club, making sure to say no to customers when they’ve had too much drink – things like this”.
This might go some way to explaining why the aforementioned Yousef appeared not to phased by government documents that said venues taking part in test events could be sued. His legal advice presumably came back with something similar…