Tag Archives: Colorado

Very Broad Waiver Protects in Spite of Fact a Signed Waiver was not Produced

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 By Doyice Cotten

Theresa Brigance was injured at Vail while taking beginning skiing lessons. Vail claimed no liability on the basis of a required liability waiver. Brigance’s ski boot became wedged under the chair in the ski lift. Interestingly, Vail was unable to produce a signed waiver in court.(Brigance v. Vail Summit Resorts, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5447)

Liability waivers sometimes fail because they are not broad enough to cover the circumstances of the incident;

Choice-of-Law Provision Fails: Waiver Falls under Vermont Law

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By Doyice Cotten

Brian Kearney was seriously injured while competing in a USSA sanctioned amateur downhill ski race at Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, Vermont, in February, 2015. USSA members were eligible to participate and membership required signing a liability waiver (Kearney v. Okemo Limited Liability Company, 2016).

The waiver contained the following exculpatory provision:

Member hereby unconditionally WAIVES AND RELEASES ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, AND AGREES TO HOLD HARMLESS,

Unforced Errors: The Scope of the Waiver MUST be Clear!!!

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Doyice J. Cotten

FACT: A well-written waiver willingly signed by an adult participant can protect the service provider from liability for the provider’s negligence in most states.

FACT: Many waivers fail because of what might be termed “unforced errors” on the part of the writer in making clear the scope of the waiver.

In this post, I am reporting several recent cases in which the waiver failed to protect the provider from negligence. The reader should be able to understand why the failure was preventable.

Oops, I Forgot to Administer the Waiver! What Happens Now?

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By Doyice Cotten

Let me begin by saying this was an interesting and unusual case. It involves 20 year-old Megan Soucy, her mother, and her two minor sisters. It takes place on two days.

Day One – July 9

Megan and her family visit Nova Guides, Inc. and sign up for a Jeep tour. Intending to relieve Nova Guides from liability for injuries resulting from Nova negligence, Megan signs a waiver and her mother signs one on behalf of herself and her two minor daughters.

Importance of Clarity of Meaning in Colorado Waivers

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By Doyice Cotten

A 2015 Colorado case at a ski resort illustrates the importance of clarity of intent or meaning in liability waivers (Schlumbrecht-Muniz v. Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation, 2015 U.S. Dist LEXIS 125899). Colorado courts examine four factors in determining the validity of a waiver. They are:

• whether the service provided involves a duty to the public
• the nature of the service provided
• whether the agreement was fairly entered into
• whether the agreement is clear and unambiguous

In this case,

Costa Rica Bike Tour Waiver Fails to Protect Colorado Tour Company

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By Doyice Cotten

Sandra Steinfield fell from her bicycle and was injured during a bicycle tour vacation in Costa Rica. She and her husband filed suit in their home state of Pennsylvania; the case was moved to Colorado for trial under Colorado law (Steinfield v. EmPG Int’l, LLC, 2015).

The major issue in the case was whether a waiver and release signed by Steinfield barred the claims by Steinfield. The waiver was in two forms.

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.

Waivers and Persons-with-Disabilities: Do the Same Rules Apply?

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By Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton

 One positive development in the world of sports in the last two decades has been the substantial increase in opportunities available for persons with disabilities to engage in active recreational activities and competitions. But during that time there have been few cases addressing the enforceability of waiver-of-liability agreements, when activity or competition involved persons with disabilities. This has raised the question of whether in such cases courts will apply the same rules regarding waivers,

Waivers Upheld for Negligence in 3 of 4 Trail Ride Cases in 2013

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By Doyice Cotten

Trail rides have been a risky proposition for women in 2013. As can be seen below, a well-written liability waiver for trail rides will provide protection for equine providers from liability for ordinary negligence in most states.

Utah

In Penunuri v. Sundance Partners, LTD (2013), the rider signed a pre-injury waiver prior to a guided trail ride. Lisa Penunuri was injured by falling from her horse when the horse unexpectedly accelerated to close the gap to the next rider.

Providers Charged with Strict Liability Are Not Protected by Waivers

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By Doyice Cotten

Strict liability is called liability without fault, because one does not have to prove fault for liability. Strict liability law generally applies in situations where one keeps wild animals, where one conducts ultra-hazardous activities such as fireworks displays, and where one manufactures a product that produces injuries. Under the theory of strict liability, one does not have to prove that the defendant was negligent; rather, people or corporations are held responsible for any harm caused by their actions or products,