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Liability Risk Management

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 (COI), 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

Certificates of Insurance & Proof of Coverage – Provides more information on Certificates of Insurance and Liberty’s requirements.

Contractual Liability

  • 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
  • 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; Procurement is authorized to sign PO agreements and procurement contracts

Contracts Risk Management – Provides more information on Contractual Liability.

Contractor’s Liability

  • 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

LU Contractor Safety Program – Provides more information on Contractors’ liability and safety regulations.

Employment Practices Liability

Allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, or other employment related claims can be minimized by doing the following:

  • Do not demonstrate unfair or deferential treatment of others on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, Vietnam veteran status, or any other impermissible criteria considered to be unlawful discrimination
  • Define appropriate skills, education, training and essential functions in all position descriptions
  • Conduct performance appraisals of all employees you supervise in accordance with established Human Resources requirements
  • Do not ignore complaints; investigate them
  • Refer discrimination or sexual harassment complaints to the Human Resources office
  • Do not retaliate against employees who file grievances or workers’ compensation claims

Operations Liability

  • University departments and personnel are involved in a number of activities and operations, ranging from:
    • Athletics
    • Field trips
    • Study abroad programs
    • Special events
    • Intellectual property development
    • Research
    • 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 certain techniques to determine whether a particular activity should even be undertaken:
    • Making good decisions
    • Employing best practices
    • Providing supervision
    • Orientation and training for a particular activity
    • Having emergency procedures in place
    • 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 at (434) 592-3582 (leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible).

Premises Liability

  • Any hazards identified with LU property that could damage property or injure persons should be reported IMMEDIATELY first to Field Operations, (434) 592-3500, for correction; this might include:
    • Falling ice or snow from buildings
    • Icy walkways
    • Blocked fire extinguishers or exits
    • Burned out exit lights
  • While the Office of Risk Management 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, (434) 592-3582 (leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible)

Professional Liability

Assumption of Risk & 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
    • 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.
    • Individual Waiver of Liability (update in process)
    • Group Waiver of Liability (update in process)
  • You should contact the Office of Risk Management, (434) 592-3582 (leave a message), 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.
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