Who has control of the May Day Event; the Town or the May Day Board – if the former, the Town should cover May day as a Town Event



Every year when there is a May Day event, with Mayor Rhett Bullard at the helm, we go through the same thing.  At last night’s meeting we heard Mayor Bullard again tell us that our Town’s General   Liability policy covers events such as the Azalea Festival but this year he stated we needed to look into insurance for the May Day Event which is good.  Last year they did not have insurance but included dogs and railings treating people as if they were cattle, thanks to the efforts of Stacy Tebo, Tonja Brown and the High Springs Police department.

After telling the council the events need to have specific coverage, and everyone saying no and we were told we had coverage last year under the Town policy; we did this last year  and the year before, both Joe and I said “but that is not right just because you did it before”.   I explained that Bob Farley knew about special event coverage and we discussed it because the Florida Municipal Insurance Trust can secure such coverage for the Town and the May Day Board

If the Town was putting together the May Day Festival instead of a separate entity, then the May Day Event could be covered like the Azalea Festival but that is not the case. And I don’t know why the two parties don’t get together and the May Day event becomes an event of the Town and those on the board become volunteers of the Town.

The Town has always had coverage under their General Liability (GL) Policy for their premises and operations; therefore, the Azalea Festival being part of the Town’s activities should be included in the Town’s general liability exposures since ONLY THE TOWN’S PREMISES AND OPERATIONS are being utilized.  Also the Town has PRODUCTS LIABILITY so the food prepared on behalf of the Town for the “Taste of White Springs” would fall under the Town’s policy.   Any other vendors serving selling or providing food or other goods ARE NOT COVERED under the Town’s policy nor are they limited to the sovereign limits of liability insurance.   The May Day board is not part of the Town and therefore is a separate entity not covered under the Town’s policy.  Furthermore, it is my understanding that the Town does not have control over the events of the May Day celebration.

Well Tracy Rodriquenz who had some heated words with Joe Griffin earlier decided to have a WS Police officer remove us from the council meeting.  It was not her right.  It was Rhett Bullard’s right but even though our respect is not with Chief Rodriquenz, we have a lot of respect for those officers who serve under her supervision.

In any event, you cannot explain anything to this Town and although coverage is sold through an Independent Agent, I am not certain that independent agent may have explained the details to the Town of White Springs.  And we do not have a Town Attorney who is sharp on the law and almost fell asleep in front at last night’s meeting.

But what amazes me is the fact that when our attorney Karen Hatton was asked a question, she stated “I think”.  That is a scary statement which eludes to the fact that she does not understand civil law and I am not certain she understood criminal law when she charged Joe a couple of years back.  What a great attorney we have, but that is all White Springs will ever get with its reputation.


Let’s start from the beginning.  Without a contract, a motion passed for the Town of White Springs to partner with the May Day Board for the celebration.

With two Civil Law attorneys in the room, not a one decided to place together a contract between the parties and the vendors and furthermore, no one in White Springs reads contracts and obviously understands them as was evidenced in the Dr. Helen B. Miller Case..    I will go step by step as to what should have happened.

A contract between the two parties and also separate vendor contracts should be placed together by the Town of White Springs.  Although normally the contract could be made by the May Day Board, the Town of White Springs has undertaken all such liability so, the Contract should include the May Day Board or Event, its successors or assigns and volunteers as a party to the Town’s contract.   The contract should require a specific insurance policy be provided by the May Day board and such insurance shall hold the Town of White Springs, its officers, employees and volunteers as an additional insured and such shall require a special events policy for the limits so required of the Town :  Remember only the Town has the lower limits per statute.  No one else does.

Pursuant to Florida’s Sovereign Immunity Statute § 768.28, the State of Florida and its political subdivisions, such as cities and counties, has limited its liability for damages under the sovereign immunity statute such that an injured consumer may recover up to a maximum amount of damages of $200,000, and potentially another $100,000 if there are dependants. That’s it. It was just raised on October 1, 2011 from $100,000 and $200,000 respectively

Remember, however,  the Town (Municipality) is subject to the Sovereign Immunity Statute but no one else is,  so technically, an individual using town’s property could be sued for much more if they were at fault, so the Town should determine what coverage limit may be required and place it in a contract with the parties.

All vendors shall hold the Town of White Springs harmless and since many of the vendors are individuals and not restaurants, the Town’s attorney will have to decide if an insurance policy would be required of each vendor or if the insurance would be waived but that a hold harmless agreement would be affixed to the application between the parties. .  If the vendor is a restaurant, or a store, they would have off premises liability and each would be included for products liability (your food your drink, your art, your jewelry, etc). And not only is the vendor listed but it’s specific product(s) in the contract.

hold harmless is an agreement between two parties stating that one party will assume the risk of legal liability associated with an event for the other party. It is a risk transfer mechanism.  I have no intention of providing a contract draft and this is merely an example for this presentation.  It is up to an attorney to either place a hold harmless agreement on the “Vendor’s application” or require insurance.  This is up to the Attorneys.  Yet with the agreement made verbally without such written agreements whether with someone using the Town’s premises or just being a vendor, the Town like before, faces all liability.

Again, if a contract is chosen the Town of White Springs, its officers, employees and volunteers are to be included as Additional Insured’s under any insurance policy procured by parties maintaining and using Town Property.  But since Rhett Bullard agreed to this fiasco without understanding by him or Attorney Karen Hatton, I am not certain what can be done.  It would be in the May Day Event’s purview to say we have a verbal contract and don’t need a written contract and we do not have to indemnify the Town of White Springs and therefore will not get a separate policy.

 Again the usual way would be for the May Day event board to provide the insurance and hold the Town harmless but with last night’s motion, the Town of White Springs must do something different and should contact the Florida  League of Cities underwriter.

Anyway, this is a brief example, but I am not an attorney and therefore an attorney should place together any such contracts or agreements

“This Hold Harmless Agreement (this “Agreement”_ is made effective on ……….2018 by and between…….. are sometimes individually referred to as “Party” and collectively referred to as the “Parties”.

Whereas……will be a vendor providing the sale of  …………at the May Day Celebration

Whereas in exchange for valuable consideration will hold harmless the Town of White Springs, its officers, employees and volunteers from any claim(s) and/or litigation arising out ot the services and products provided by……………………………



Okay, we have taken care of the contractual issue, not let’s see what the Florida Municipal Insurance Trust provides the Town of White Springs:

General Liability includes: coverage is excluded if you knowingly do something

  • Premises Liability   (liability coverage inside and outside your Town buildings or property owned, maintained or used  for bodily injury property damage including death)
  • Personal Injury        (slander, libel, defamation, false arrest, detention, imprisonment, malicious prosecution or wrongful eviction)
  • Advertising Injury  (published material, infringement due to advertising, wrong description, price, )
  • Product Liability   (your goods, manufactured, sold handled distributed or disposed of)
  • Completed Operations (after your work is completed, and damage or injury occurs)
  • Fire Legal Liability  (Fire Damage due to your negligence to a building you are leasing)
  • Broad Form Property Damage (Although damage to your product and damage to your work are excluded under the G.L. policy, the exclusion relating to your work does not apply if the damaged work or the work out of which the damage arises was performed on your behalf by a subcontractor)
  • Information Security & Privacy Liability (Forgetting to take something off of 119’s which causes injury or  damage)



 P.S.  RHETT BULLARD ADVISED THAT SOMEONE AT THE FLORIDA LEAGUE OF CITIES SAID THAT COVERAGE WAS PROVIDED UNDER THE EXISTING GL POLICY OF THE TOWN FOR SPECIAL EVENTS.  IF SUCH EVENTS ARE LISTED UNDER THE TOWN’S GENERAL LIABILITY EXPOSURE MAKE CERTAIN YOU HAVE A DOCUMENT IN WRITING stating such an event is INCLUDED, IN THE EVENT A LOSS WOULD OCCUR.  I would concur that the Azalea Festival would be covered because it is solely a town event but the May Day Festival as a separate entity does not fall within the scope of being a town or municipality with limited liability by reason of sovereign immunity.  The only way to secure more money under the provision is to provide a claims bill directly to the legislature but no attorney will assist because they are only paid 25% of the claim rather than the usual 40% by law.

  • Airport / Hangarkeepers Operations
  • Executive Travel Accident
  • Fiduciary Liability
  • Flood Coverage
  • Flood coverage is written on a primary basis to supplement the excess flood coverage provided by the FMIT. The flood program requires a separate policy for each building that is to be insured.
  • Liquor Liability
  • Marina Operators Liability
  • Marine Insurance – Hull and Protection & Indemnity
  • Petroleum Storage Tank Liability and Remediation
  • Pollution Liability and Remediation (Other Than Storage Tanks)
  • Public Official / Position Schedule Bond
  • Skate Facility Liability


·      Special Events and Miscellaneous General Liability

This coverage is for event holders or groups using the member’s facilities and do not have insurance. The events can be written through the FLC or on an individual basis through the Tenant User Liability Insurance Program (TULIP).

Some members have facilities that are continuously rented out to groups or individuals. These facilities can be recreation centers or civic centers. This special event policy can be referred to as a rental facilities policy.

·        Statutory Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)

This policy provides the limits required by Florida statute for law enforcement officers and firefighters. In line of duty benefits available for other employees. Other employees do not receive fresh pursuit or unlawful and intentional death benefits.

  • AD&D including Volunteer Firefighters, Special Events, Municipal Recreation
  • Directors & Officers and Employment Practices Liability
  • Event Weather (Rain) Cancelation Insurance
  • Fidelity Coverage – Pension Plans
  • Public Officials E&O and Employment Practices


For additional information on our Ancillary Coverages, contact Melissa Solis by email or at (800) 445-6248.



Leave a Reply