Tag Archives: Indiana

Waivers and Volunteer Workers

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By Doyice Cotten

Certain types of special relationships can affect the enforceability of liability waivers. One such relationship is that between an employer and an employee – often referred to as the master-servant relationship.  Generally, waivers which employers require that their employees sign are unenforceable because of the economic hold that the employer has over the employee. Such waivers are generally deemed to be in violation of public policy.

In contrast, waivers between an employer and a volunteer worker are generally enforced.

Indiana Waiver Law as to Gross Negligence

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By Doyice Cotten

Indiana law regarding waivers and extreme forms of negligence (gross negligence, reckless conduct, willful/wanton conduct and intentional acts) was addressed in Sportsdrome Speedway, Inc. v. Clark (2016 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 363).

In this case, Sportsdrome appeal a trial court ruling denying Sportsdrome’s motion for summary judgment. Jason Clark, an employee/volunteer was injured at the racetrack when a car struck him while being propelled from the track during an accident. Clark filed suit alleging the racetrack was grossly negligent and acted in a willful and wanton manner because 1) it knew the risk faced by Clark and stationed him alone in a dangerous area and 2) because the management knew that the design and layout of the track was unreasonably dangerous.

What Does Your Waiver Protect Against? Inherent Risks – Ordinary Negligence – Acts Greater than Ordinary Negligence

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By Doyice Cotten

There are literally hundreds of waiver cases in which the waiver protected the provider from liability for ordinary negligence by the provider. In the Salinger case below, the waiver specifically stated that Grace Farms was released from liability for negligence (meaning ordinary negligence) and would have protected the provider from such liability. However, the plaintiff alleged “greater than ordinary negligence,” which in Minnesota meant willful and wanton conduct. In most states, waivers do not protect against gross negligence,

News Flash: Ruling on Parental Waivers in Indiana

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By Doyice Cotten

[It is interesting (frustrating) that this Indiana case (and 2 more parental waiver cases to be addressed soon) have been recently published and found just days after a summary article for parental waivers appeared on this website.]

Facts

A 17-year-old girl playing in a summer baseball/softball league was injured while sliding into second base (Wabash County Young Men’s Christian Association, Inc.

Good Waivers Fail; Bad Waivers Protect — SOMETIMES

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By Doyice Cotten

In Waivers & Releases of Liability (7th ed.), this author devotes two entire chapters (More than 50 pages) to how to write an effective waiver. One can construct a great waiver by following the guidelines presented. However, waivers don’t always work as expected. In case law we find that some very poor waivers successfully protect the provider, and we find that on occasion, very good waivers fail to protect for one reason or another. In this article,