Risk Management

Timely RM articles from recreation and sport

NJ Federal Court Addresses Several Waiver Issues:

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By Doyice Cotten

In a recent New Jersey case (Kang v. LA Fitness of South Plainfield, 2016), the court addressed several issues relating to waivers. Among them was 1) non-reader or speaker of English, 2) font size, 3) national association standards, 4) failure to read the waiver, 5) failure to explain the waiver, 6) failure to initial a provision of the waiver, and 7) contract of adhesion.

Ms Kang was injured while working out on the chin/dip assist pull-up machine.

Provider’s Cavalier Attitude toward Safety and Risk Management Proves Costly

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By Doyice Cotten  

Two major problems with liability waivers are that they are sometimes misunderstood and misused by owners or managers of sport businesses. First, some sport managers think that a liability waiver provides total protection against lawsuits for injury. They think they are completely protected against loss. But waivers do not always work! Sometimes there are statutes prohibiting their use (e.g., G.O.L 5-326 in NY prohibiting waivers when there is an entry fee). Sometimes the waiver is poorly written (e.g.,

A Good Approach to Electronic Waivers in New York State

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By Doyice Cotten

This electronic waiver case was discussed briefly a couple of weeks ago. Here it is examined in more detail.

A frequent question is “Are electronic waivers as good as paper waivers?” or “Are electronic waivers enforceable?” The answer seems to be “yes” for both questions. The writer has read electronic waivers in several states and has yet to find one that fails because it is electronic; in fact,

Florida Waiver Law for Minors

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By Doyice Cotten

The Florida Supreme Court (Kirton v. Fields, 2008) has ruled that parental waivers designed to protect commercial entities from liability for negligence are not enforceable. Florida appellate courts, however, have enforced parental waivers when used by schools or recreational entities (Krathen v. School Board of Monroe Country, Fla., 2007; Gonzalez v. City of Coral Gables, 2004).

In 2013, the Florida Legislature passed F.S.

Bad Judgment by Personal Trainer Causes Lawsuit

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By Doyice Cotten

Many things can cause accidents in a health club – and a negligence suit is sometimes the result. Causes include equipment failure, slick floor surface, inattention of the personal trainer, carelessness by the client, and many more. In the case addressed here, the cause was largely due to the faulty judgment of the personal trainer. The following describes the events leading up to the injury of Patricia Evans in a Pennsylvania health club:

On November 12,

2016 Health Club Cases in New York — No Waivers

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By Doyice Cotten

Injuries occurring in health clubs in the State of New York can be problematic for club owners since protection against liability for negligence is ineffective in many circumstances – one being in places of amusement or recreation.  New York statute G.O.L. Sec. 5-326, passed in 1976, deems waivers void as against public policy under specific circumstances.  Specifically, the law provides:

[e]very covenant, agreement or understanding in or in connection with, or collateral to,

AED – A Happy Ending or Another Tragedy?

By Doyice Cotten

“The Davis School District and local school administrators have acted upon the recommendations of our department to place (defibrillators) within this school. The heroic efforts of a well-trained staff and a good maintenance program in keeping the batteries ready to go in this (defibrillator) clearly made a difference here today.”

Layton Fire Department spokesman Doug Bitton

 

According to Deseretnews.com, 17 year-old Connor Moss is alive today thanks to two women who knew what to do in an emergency and the availability of a defibrillator.

Strengthen Assumption of Risk: Documentation of Notification of Warnings

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I recently received an email from James Hellwege regarding risk management efforts of a provider in relation to the assumption of risks by the participants. It is encouraging when providers  take positive steps 1) to inform participants of the risks of an activity and 2) to document their actions with accuracy. The note is presented in its entirety below. DJC

 
By James Hellwege

Doyice:
I recently came across this blog entry of yours regarding pre-activity instruction by vendors in relation to assumption of the risk by participants:

http://www.sportwaiver.com/an-effective-warning-of-risk-technique
Some thoughts for your consideration on this topic.

A Few Risks in Travel to Namibia

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By Doyice Cotten

Those of you who have traveled to third world countries may have noticed that safety is not usually the top concern. Here are a few examples from Namibia that reinforce that idea! In Namibia, we found that the danger from wild animals in a reserve were not the only risks encountered.

Photos 2 and 3 show some transportation risks when the travel company tries to put too many bags into a van carrying people.

Risk Signage that Gets Your Attention!

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By Doyice Cotten

Sport, fitness and recreation professionals know all about risk … and most know at least a little about risk management. And, certainly, we all are familiar with warning signs. Some are good, some are not effective, and some are such that they are not even noticed.

“Why bother with warning signs? Any fool can see a trampoline is dangerous!” you might say. Well, sport, fitness, and recreation providers are faced with possible liability for injuries created by two types of risk: 1) inherent risks of the activity and 2) risks created by the negligence of the provider.