The University, its officers, Board of Trustees and employees can from time to time be charged with legal liability for negligent actions, wrongful acts or tortuous conduct as the result of a real or alleged failure to fulfill an obligation or duty.
The Office of Risk Management applies various practices to minimize the chance of such legal liabilities.
Certificates of Insurance
Contractors and Vendors doing business with the University or third party individuals and organizations using University premises or facilities should carry their own insurance to protect their own interests from allegations of bodily injury or property damage liability caused by their own negligence.
Certificates of Insurance, which provide evidence that such coverage is in place, should be requested from all entities before the University engages their services or permits them to use our premises or facilities.
Entities with which LU departments do business may sometimes ask the University for such proof of insurance coverage.
For more information on certificates of insurance and Liberty's requirements see Certificates of Insurance & Proof of Converge.
Contracts usually contain “hold harmless and indemnification” language which may hold one party responsible for the negligence of another. The University should not assume unnecessary liabilities in a contract. For this reason, all significant contracts for services, affiliation agreements or leases of premises should be reviewed by the General Counsel’s Office and the Office of Risk Management. Only certain designated officers of the University are authorized to sign contracts and leases of premises. Purchasing is authorized to sign PO agreements and procurement contracts.
For more information on Contractual Liability see Contracts Risk Management.
The University has developed a Contractor's Safety Handbook to promote the safety of faculty, staff and students of LU and of the Construction Contractors who perform service for the University. All Contractors and their employees must provide and maintain a safe working environment at LU for both themselves and for the members of the LU community using the facilities in the vicinity of the work being performed.
For more information see Contractor's Safety Handbook.
Employment Practices Liability
Allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, or other employment related claims can be minimized by doing the following:
University departments and personnel are involved in a number of activities and operations, ranging from athletics to field trips to study abroad programs to special events to intellectual property development to research to student clubs, et al. Any of these operations could result in injury to persons or damage to property. Controlling the risks associated with such operations requires such techniques as making good decisions, employing best practices, providing supervision, orientation and training for a particular activity, having emergency procedures in place, and weighing the benefits versus the risks to determine whether a particular activity should even be undertaken. For assistance in developing risk management techniques for any of your operations, contact the Office of Risk Management.
Any hazards identified with LU property that could damage property or injure persons (such as falling ice or snow from buildings, icy walkways, blocked fire extinguishers or burned out exit lights) should be reported IMMEDIATELY first to Field Operations for correction.
While the Risk Management Department does not make actual repairs or changes to property, hazards should be reported to the department for investigation and follow-up. Anyone who witnesses an injury on campus should report it to Risk Management at 592-3237.
Releases of Liability
Signed assumption of risk and releases of liability forms are recommended if the University sponsors an event or activity that is voluntary and/or potentially dangerous, or when outside groups use University facilities. Examples of this include SnowFlex, Skate Park, ATV Rentals, Ropes Courses, Field Trips, Sports Participation or high school groups’ use of labs, sports fields or other facilities. Such assumption or risk and release forms are signed by either the participating organization or by individual participants (or their parents, in the case of minors). These assumption of risk and release forms reduce the University’s liability and shift responsibility to the participant.
You should contact the Office of Risk Management if the complexity of the event or activity is particularly dangerous, hazardous or if you are unsure of the risk to liability that exist for an event or activity.