What do we do if the owner was the one that suggested to continue to put canoes and lives at risk by telling us it was safe to drive in high winds? 3 Answers as of April 30, 2014

My company rented canoes for a race we were holding. We signed no agreement for the canoes, just paid, agreed upon rate and was issued a receipt. During the race, the winds became very high (30-35mph) and we actually cancelled a portion of the canoe due to the high winds. In the process of hauling the canoes back to the renter’s facilities (40 miles south of our canoe locations) a canoe rack of 8 was flipped over by the wind. We contacted the canoe owner as informed him of the high winds and that we didn't feel safe driving another load. In total, we had six racks of canoes to haul. He told us that in his 15 or so years of hauling canoes he never lost a rack in high winds and that we should try taking another trailer to him. We advised him that the park ranger would allow for his canoes to be secured for the night in their facilities, but the owner insisted that it was a fluke "an isolated wind vortex" and we should try again. We tried again and lost a tandem trailer in the wind. This time causing damage to both the racks and some canoes. We called the owner and told him about this and that we were not going to haul any more racks. The racks still in the park and on trailers would be moved to the park offices and the racks and canoes that just flipped in a farm field would be left there. We are willing to pay for them to come get the canoes from the park offices and the farm field but damages and additional costs to the canoes in the field.

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Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
I think you may be on the hook for all of the damages. Despite what the owner said, you knew it was dangerous to move the canoes. You should have told him that you disagreed and you would pay the extra cost for him to come get the canoes.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 4/30/2014
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
The responsibility for all of this largely rests with you. You did the moving despite what someone encouraged you to do. Someone should have had all this insured. Have you checked it out?
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 4/30/2014
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
All parties should coordinate. There is plenty of blame to go around, and hopefully some insurance.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/30/2014
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