Risk Management

Timely RM articles from recreation and sport

Soccer Goals: 40 Deaths & 59 Serious Injuries in 38 Years

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By Doyice Cotten

A recent athleticbusiness.com article reported on the death of a two-year-old Tennessee girl who was killed when a soccer goal blew over on top of her. Local TV reported that the unanchored goal turned over as a result of a 30 to 40 mph wind. At the time of the report, it was not verified whether the goals at the International Soccer Complex were anchored in any way.

Reading this report brought back memories of an important Ohio case in 1998 (Zivich v.

Signage and Risk Management in Borneo

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By Doyice Cotten

Malaysia (particularly the Borneo area described here) is a beautiful country filled with jungles, streams, mountains, and extremely friendly people. It is one of the few Southeast Asia countries in which English is spoken by just about everyone. Also, we have found that Malaysia has more and better signage than most countries in this area. In this post we will look at some of that signage as well as some potential risks.  Please right-click on an image for a larger view.

Law Requires AEDs in Massachusetts Schools: What About Your State?

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By Doyice Cotten

On January 13, 2017, the Governor of Massachusetts signed into law Bill S.2449 mandating automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in Massachusetts schools. The law provides that AEDs be in all public schools in the state and that at least one staff member be trained in its use. An AED also must be available for use at any school-sponsored athletic event.

This life saving action has been a long time in coming. The legislation was first introduced ten years ago,

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.