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.

Check Your LIABILITY IQ: Was it Ordinary Negligence or Gross Negligence in Climbing Wall Case?

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By Doyice Cotten

In a Michigan rock wall climbing injury case (Alvarez v. LTF Club Operations Company Inc., 2016), the plaintiff had climbed the wall and started to belay down when his harness broke because he had it on backwards and incorrectly hooked to the belay system. He fell from the wall and was seriously injured. Subsequently, he filed suit claiming the waiver of liability of ordinary negligence he signed was not applicable because LTF was guilty of gross negligence.

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,

Woman Held to Waiver Signed by Husband in California Health Club Case

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By Doyice Cotten

Sheila Brown joined 24 Hour on February 27, 2001, signing the 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. membership agreement containing a liability waiver.  She terminated her membership several months later; then, after a few months her son renewed her membership through his corporate membership. Her husband signed the club waiver on her behalf.

Two years later, Sheila tripped over a dumbbell that had been left on the floor and suffered injury. She filed suit against 24 Hour and claimed the waiver was unenforceable because she had not signed the waiver.

Illinois Drag Racing Waiver Upheld for Negligence — But not for Strict Liability

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By Doyice Cotten

David Jones, suffered permanent injuries in a drag-racing accident resulting from the failure of an added part during the performance of a wheelie. He filed this products liability action against UPR and numerous other entities alleged to have participated in the production or design of the Product, alleging negligence and strict liability (Jones v. UPR Products, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54887)

He had previously signed a Waiver of Liability Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement.

Duration of Waivers: A 3 Part Series – Part 3

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Part 3

By Doyice Cotten

In a Massachusetts case (Borges v. Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, Inc., 2000), Israel Borges, a trainer, sustained injuries when he slipped due to ice on the ground and fell while on property at the Suffolk Downs Track owned and controlled by the defendants.

The defendants moved for summary judgment because Borges’ claim was barred by a waiver executed in a stall application. The pertinent part of the waiver stated:

Suffolk Downs,

Duration of Waivers: A 3 Part Series – Part 2

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Part 2

By Doyice Cotten

Nicholas Weinrish was injured while operating a go-kart on the defendant’s track (Weinrich V. Lehigh Valley Grand Prix Inc.,  2015). A piece of plastic covering a guardrail broke and protruded toward the track; plaintiff suffered an injury to his leg when he struck the plastic.

Weinrich had patronized the establishment six months earlier and had signed a waiver of liability at that time.

Duration of Waivers: A 3 Part Series — Part 1

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Part 1

By Doyice Cotten

Tariq Davis, a minor, was injured when he ran into the street and was struck by an auto while chasing a soccer ball (Davis v. American Youth Soccer Organization, Virgin Islands, 2016). The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) claimed protection from a waiver signed by a parent on behalf of the youth.

Courts in the Virgin Islands have stated that “an exculpatory clause which limits or absolves a party for its own ordinary negligence is generally enforceable, 

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.