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Linda R.
Linda R.
Loongana, TAS

A member of our sports club was cooking a BBQ as a volunteer. The BBQ began to catch fire as someone had removed the original fat catcher and replaced it with a smaller object. Fearing there would be injuries to children in close proximity 2 members decided to try and remove the source of the fire (the fat catcher). In doing so one member was seriously burnt. Now the club and insurance company are refusing to compensate saying they are not liable as they made the wrong decision. Is this correct?

9 months ago


What sort of message is the club executive sending to its members???? "we would love you to help out, but if something bad happens you are on your own, sport!!"
I know that as a member of a number of volunteer organisations, every member is covered, its simply not worth it for the club NOT to make sure that the members are covered.
If the member is NOT covered, then SOMEONE other than the club has breached a duty of care.....
is it the duty officer on the day, who failed to check the fat tin?
Is it the social secretary, who orders the sausages and gas bottles???
Is it the club president, who failed to run an induction program for all members on the proper procedure in the event of a fat fire???
I would be extremely disappointed if I was a member of a club that decided to hang me out to dry like this. And you know who I would be talking to??? My solicitor. And the conversation would be along the lines of "if the club is not at fault, then SOMEONE is, so lets line that SOMEONE up and get some proper compensation"
perhaps some inquiry from a solicitor as to who the member should be looking to for compensation might change the attitude of an executive if thye get the idea that they are personally on the hook for issues which have been dismissed by the club, and the clubs insurer.
Because some is at fault. It is an unfortunate fact that we live in a highly litigious society, and the days of clubs being exempt from legal obligations to its members are well and truly over.....not to mention the moral obligation of the club in general and the executive in particular to ensure that its members are not placed in danger......
this looks like a disaster could grow from an unfortunate accident.

Linda, if you an executive member of this club, get some legal advice.
If you are the injured party, get some legal advice

moral of the story here is......get some legal advice.


9 months ago

Hi Brendan
Thanks. Your reply is what I think too. My friend who was injured has sought legal advice. Even went to mediation at which point the Barrister representing the clubs insurance company said “it was your fault for trying to remove the fat (which was in a ceramic cup), and we refuse to accept liability.” They said he should have either evacuated or went looking for a fire extuinguisher. And yes you right there was no induction or information given regarding fire extuinguishers etc

Hello Linda,
its interesting that the Barrister representing the club hasn't joined the dots regarding the duty of care and where it will end up residing.......ie someone PERSONALLY will become liable for this. Most likely one of the executive committee members.

I hope your friend recovers...those fat burns can be very nasty!!!!


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