A Tale of Two Florida Water Sport Waivers

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By Doyice Cotten
When I travel, I make it a habit to pick up liability waivers wherever I go. On a recent trip to Florida I visited a number of water sport businesses. Of the waivers I obtained, I would like to compare two. To protect the innocent, I will call one Oops Watersports and the other OK Watersports. The Oops agreement is primarily an equipment rental agreement; the OK agreement is a full-fledged, full page waiver agreement. The reader is invited to compare the two agreements and see which would allow him or her,

Sport Safety Statutes Can Affect the Effectiveness of Liability Waivers

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By Doyice Cotten

Most states have enacted at least one of what are sometimes called sport safety acts or shared responsibility statutes (e.g., equine, ski, whitewater rafting) intended to define or limit the liability exposure of operators of selected activities.

Some of these statutes hold the operator to a duty of ordinary care. When they do, a waiver cannot protect the operator in the event of ordinary negligence. Other statutes prescribe a list of specific duties of the operator.

Effects of the West Virginia Nonprofit Adventure and Recreational Activity Responsibility Act §20-16-1 upon Liability Waivers

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By Doyice Cotten

The purpose of this post is to take a close look at the West Virginia Statute §20-16-1 to 8, Nonprofit Adventure and Recreational Activity Responsibility Act. This type of act, in the past, has been referred to as a Sport Safety Act, but is more accurately described as a Shared Responsibility Statute. Such acts generally seek to provide some liability protections for specified sport providers and define legal responsibility for parties involved.

Before You Sign the Sports Facility Lease Agreement

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By

John Sadler, Sadler & Company, Inc.
Part I

This is Part I of a 2 part series about the importance of indemnification in facility lease agreements. An authority in the field of sport insurance, John discusses why indemnification is important to the facility operator and explains two forms of indemnification. In Part II he will explain another form of indemnification and suggested insurance requirement. Part II will appear next week.

Do Sports Leagues Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

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Thanks to John Sadler for permission to run this article on SportWaiver.com. The article appeared on Sports Insurance Blog and should provide valuable information for many readers.

By John Sadler (Sadler & Company, Inc., Columbia, S.C.)

Are sports organizations such as leagues ever required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance in lieu of Accident insurance when workers are paid? This is a complex issue with some gray areas and some exceptions to the general rule.

Wanton Conduct at Issue in a Motocross Case

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By Doyice Cotten

Sport, recreation and fitness professionals often encounter the term “negligence” and most have at least a general idea of what negligence entails; but sometimes one comes across the term “willful and wanton act” (sometimes referred to as wanton act) and most don’t really understand what it means. A 2011 Alabama case gives us  a good example of what might be considered a willful and wanton act (J.T., Jr. v. Monster Mountain,

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.

For Protection under Assumption of Risk: Injured Party MUST Have Known the Risks!!!

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By Doyice Cotten
One of the most commonly used defenses when someone is injured in a recreational activity is that the participant assumed the risks. While the law varies somewhat from state to state, it is generally an effective defense when the provider has not been negligent.

In a recent Pennsylvania case M.D. v. Ski Shawnee, Inc. (2015), a nine year old novice skier on an elementary school ski trip was injured when she collided with a snowmaking machine on the slope.

Hawaii Statute Prohibiting Waivers Enforced in Scuba Case

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By Doyice Cotten

In a recent ruling, the U.S. District Court of Hawaii ruled that a liability waiver could not protect a scuba diving business from liability for negligence (Hambrook v. Smith, 2015). William Savage died while scuba diving with Hawaiian Scuba Shack; his wife, Sandra Hambrook filed suit against the company as well as PADI.

Savage had signed a liability waiver which the plaintiff claimed was unenforceable against public policy because it violated a state statute prohibiting liability waivers in recreational activities.

Waiver Clearly Specifying Risks Enforced in NY Case

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By Doyice Cotten

Last Week’s Post (Admiralty Law Trumps GOL 5-326 Statute in NY Jet Boat Waiver Case) focused on fact that federal admiralty law supersede  state law (including New York’s G.O.L. 5-326. We look at this case again (Brozyna v. Niagara Gorge Jetboating, LTD., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111546) focusing this time on the language of the waiver and other risk management steps taken by the provider.Courts in many states require that the waiver language warn the signer of the inherent risks of the activity involved.