Tag Archives: GOL 5-326

Poorly Written New York Church Waiver Fails

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By Doyice Cotten

Panagiota Melis, a member of the Helenic Orthodox Church, slipped and fell on snow and ice in the Church’s parking lot after parking her vehicle. She filed suit against the church alleging negligence (Melis v. Helenic Orthodox Community, 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 981).

The church claimed protection from a waiver and assumption of risk document signed previously by the plaintiff. The court ruled that General Obligations Law (“GOL”) 5-326 did not apply and did not serve to prevent the enforcement of the waiver because the church was not a place of amusement or recreation.

Summary Judgment in NY Horseback Ride Case Not Granted: 1) Questions of Fact and 2) Waiver Signed by Another Person in Group

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By Doyice Cotten

Lynette Blumenthal rented a horse and was thrown during her ride (Blumenthal v. The Bronx Equestrian Center, Inc., 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2884).  The defendant moved for summary judgment based on a liability waiver.

The court summarized New York summary judgment procedure as follows.

Summary judgment is a drastic remedy, and it should not be granted when there is any doubt as to the existence of a triable issue of fact….

NY Motocross Waiver Fails to Protect Because of GOL 5-326

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By Doyice Cotten

Pablo Torres, an experienced motocross rider, signed a waiver, paid a fee to enter a race, participated in a motocross race, fell when his cycle was bumped from behind, and suffered an injury when he struck a hard object not far from the track.

Apparently, the management had put in a sprinkler system near the track, leaving an exposed PVC pipe. This was denied by management, but a witness said he saw it.

Some Waivers Are Enforceable in New York State!

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By Doyice Cotten

      The dominant statute in New York waiver law is G.O.L. Sec. 5-326. The statute deems waivers void as against public policy under specific circumstances.  The General Obligations Law provides:

[e]very covenant, agreement or understanding in or in connection with, or collateral to, any contract, membership application, ticket of admission or similar writing, entered into between the owner or operator of any pool, gymnasium, place of amusement or recreation or similar establishment and the user of such facilities,

NY GOL 5-326 and Apartment Building Gyms

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By

Doyice Cotten and Mary Cotten

In Roer v. 150 West End Avenue Owners Corp. (2010 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 6353), Jason Roer brought action seeking damages for personal injuries sustained in the basement gym of the apartment building where he and his wife reside. While exercising on a treadmill in the gym, he was caused to fall and suffer injury when a loose exercise ball was pulled beneath the belt of his treadmill. He had signed a waiver intended to relieve management of liability for negligence contained in his gym membership contract.