Wagga Show Society's successful defence against a $476,000 personal injury lawsuit served as a reminder to Riverina groups that they have to remain vigilant in a more litigious age.
Rotary Club of Wagga Peter Veerhuis told The Daily Advertiser that along with every community group's desire to prevent anyone getting hurt was the need to satisfy insurance company requirements.
The club's main annual fundraiser is the Book Fair, which sees thousands of ordinary people enter Wagga Showground to search through donated books, music albums and DVDs in search of a bargain.
"We have our own insurance should anything happen; nothing has happened so far so we're very fortunate and we're very grateful for everyone who makes it possible for us to conduct a book fair that raises $50,000," Mr Veerhuis said.
In September 2012, Kerrie Anne Menz suffered facial fractures and multiple traumatic brain injuries after the horse she preparing to ride at the Wagga show fell on her.
On Monday, she lost her case against Wagga Show Society in the NSW Supreme court, where she had sought damages related to her health care, living assistance and lost income.
University of Sydney Law School Professor Barbara McDonald told The Daily Advertiser that the Wagga Show Society's court victory did not set a precedent in itself, but was a reflection of laws brought in to protect community events.
"In 2002, NSW along with everywhere else had a big political push where the Civil Liability Act was introduced and that makes it much, much harder for people to sue for negligence and puts a lot more responsibility on the claimants themselves," she said.
Professor McDonald said at the time, losses for insurers in the wake of terrorist attacks combined with high-profile payouts for people injured at community events had caused large increases to public liability insurance premiums.
Wagga is widely know for its Willans Hill Miniature Railway, which carries hundreds of families and children around a 1.7-kilometre track in the Botanic Gardens during opening weekends.
Wagga Society of Model Engineers president Eric Hall said for many reasons, members were always looking for anything that could prove a hazard for riders.
"(Legal issues) are always a concern but there is not much you can do other than make sure procedures are in place and you cover as many bases that you can," he said.
Mr Hall said the railway did not ask riders to sign the kind of liability waiver that had helped Wagga Show Society defend itself in court.
"We have (railway society) insurance and just have to cross all our Ts," he said.
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