Admiralty Law Supports Liability Waiver in New Jersey Parasail Case

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By Doyice Cotten

The Olmos and their two sons signed up for a parasailing trip. While on the boat traveling out of the inlet, Dina Olmo shifted her sitting position just as the boat hit a wave, lifting her into the air. When she landed she felt “a stabbing pain at the bottom of [her] back.”The boat immediately returned to the dock and she was taken to the hospital. The two sons remained to continue with their parasailing trip.

Interesting Ruling by a Hawaii Court as to Enforcement of Admiralty Law Waivers

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By Doyice Cotten

Admiralty law applied in a recent Hawaii case in which a man died during a scuba dive trip (Hambrook v. Smith, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109484). Hambrook drowned, at least in part, due to negligence on the part of the boat owner and its dive instructor. Suit was filed naming the owner, dive instructor, and Padi Worldwide Corporation as defendants. The defendants relied on a liability waiver signed by the deceased.

Hawaii Case Illustrates Why Admiralty Law Can be Important to Recreation Providers

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By Doyice Cotten
Mark Strickert took his wife and two children on a snorkeling trip. He and his wife signed waivers on behalf of themselves and their children. The trip consisted of six scuba divers and six snorkelers (including the four Strickerts), two crew members and Mr. Neal (the party in charge) who stayed on the boat while the others entered the water. At some point the weather worsened causing extremely high winds and large waves. Neal signaled the snorkelers and divers to return to the boat.

Admiralty Law Trumps GOL 5-326 Statute in NY Jet Boat Waiver Case

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Admiralty Law Trumps GOL 5-326 Statute in NY Jet Boat Waiver Case

By Doyice Cotten

In New York, liability waivers relieving a service provider of liability for its own negligence are generally enforceable, with a few exceptions. One major exception is New York General Obligations Law § 5-326, which provides:

Every covenant, agreement or understanding in or in connection with, or collateral to, any contract, membership application, ticket of admission or similar writing,

Admiralty Law: How does it Relate to Recreation Waivers?

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 By Doyice Cotten

Black’s Law Dictionary defines Admiralty law (also called Maritime Law) as “that system of law that particularly relates to marine commerce and navigation, to business transacted at sea or relating to navigation, to ships and shipping, to seamen, to the transportation of persons and property by sea, and to marine affairs generally.”

One might ask “What does admiralty law have to do with sport, recreation, and fitness liability waivers?” It is important to understand that admiralty law applies to activities on any navigable waterway (e.g.,

Lake Tahoe Parasailing Waiver Case Governed by Federal Admiralty Law

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By Doyice Cotten

A lady was injured while parasailing on Lake Tahoe and sued alleging negligence by the provider (Cobb v. Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services, LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20139).  Prior to beginning the activity, she signed the following liability waiver intended to protect the provider from liability for injuries caused by provider negligence.

In consideration of my being allowed to participate in the parasailing  [*2] activities operated and conducted by [Zephyr],

Delaware Court Enforces Motocross Parental Waiver for Negligence but Not for Recklessness

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By Doyice Cotten

 

In 2013, Tommy Lynam (age 13), was riding a motocross bicycle at Blue Diamond Motocross near New Castle. While riding, Tommy rode off a jump, made a hard landing, and was unable to stop in time before colliding with a large metal shipping container. Lynam sued alleging negligence and recklessness (Lynam v. Blue Diamond Motocross LLC, 2016).

 

Lynam’s father had signed a waiver entitled “Parental Consent, Release and Waiver of Liability,

Within the Scope of Employment: Vicarious Liability and Maritime Law

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By Doyice Cotten

Any number of parties may be named as defendants in a negligence suit. The obvious defendant is the party that committed the act leading to the injury – generally an employee of an organization or corporation. The supervisor or administrator who serves as the superior of the employee is also frequently named. And commonly, the employer of the employee (generally the “deep pocket”)  is frequently named based on the doctrine of respondeat superior (also called vicarious liability.)

The doctrine of respondeat superior states that “the negligence of the employee is imputed to the corporate entity if the employee was acting within the scope of the the employee’s responsibility and authority and if the act was not grossly negligent,

A Look at California Law on Negligence and Liability Waivers

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By Doyice Cotten

In R.H. v. Los Gatos Union School District (2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47035), a high school wrestler was injured when he wrestled a larger opponent in a match. There were many claims including mismatching and negligence. Prior to wrestling, the father of R.H. signed a liability waiver. Here we will only look at the waiver defense of the defendants.

When R.H. joined the wrestling team, his father signed the required “After School Sports Emergency/Health Insurance form”

U.S. District Court Case Clouds Vermont Waiver Law

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By Doyice Cotten

Over the past 20 years four Vermont Supreme Court rulings have made Vermont waiver law relatively clear. A recent U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont ruling (Littlejohn v. Timberquest Park at Magic, LLC, 2015) seems to have muddled the issue. It seems that occasionally federal courts get it wrong in predicting how a state supreme court would rule.

The Vermont Supreme Court (Dalury v.