Tag Archives: New Jersey

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.

Admiralty Law Supports Liability Waiver in New Jersey Parasail Case

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By Doyice Cotten

The Olmos and their two sons signed up for a parasailing trip. While on the boat traveling out of the inlet, Dina Olmo shifted her sitting position just as the boat hit a wave, lifting her into the air. When she landed she felt “a stabbing pain at the bottom of [her] back.”The boat immediately returned to the dock and she was taken to the hospital. The two sons remained to continue with their parasailing trip.

“Negligence or Otherwise” Language Questioned in New Jersey Health Club Case

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By Doyice Cotten

Jenna Sauro, a New Jersey resident, filed a class action lawsuit against L.A. Fitness International, LLC. (Sauro v. L.A. Fitness International, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58144). She made many allegations including that the contract violated three New Jersey statutes. One of the claims made by the plaintiff included the allegation that the waiver attempted to waive liability for intentional conduct, recklessness, and gross negligence.

This claim arose from language in the waiver:

 Member hereby releases and holds L.A.

Waivers & Non-Readers: Another Factor to Think About!

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By Doyice Cotten

The author has written about some of the problems with having non-readers sign a waiver.  There can be problems whether the person is simply illiterate or does not speak and read English. Some courts have ruled that one is responsible for what one signs and have enforced waivers signed by non readers.

For instance, an Iowa court (Adams v. Frieden, Inc., 2002) ruled against a legally blind woman who had sued challenging a waiver protecting against liability for injuries incurred in the pit area of an auto racetrack The court stated that the state supreme court had not carved out a disability exception to the rule that people are bound by documents they sign even if they have not read them.

Ph.D. Fails to Read Waiver for FlowRider . . . Risk Management Signage and Waiver Protect

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By Doyice Cotten

In a recent case (Steinberg v. Sahara Sam’s Oasis, LLC, 2014), the plaintiff was injured when he attempted the FlowRider. He sued alleging negligence and gross negligence on the part of the provider.

One of the issues was that the provider did not meet 2008 standards, but that was not necessary since the company was given a three year certification to operate the ride prior to the issuance of 2008 standards.

New Jersey Raceway Learns that Good Samaritan Statutes have Limitations!

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By Doyice Cotten

Every state has some form of Good Samaritan statute which is intended to provide immunity from liability for certain parties who voluntarily and gratuitously come to the aid of injured persons. Good Samaritan laws were developed to encourage both physicians and laymen to help others in emergency situations. These statutes, however, are not without limitation as Atco Raceway, Inc. found out in a New Jersey case (Cruz v. Atco Raceway, Inc.,

Even Broadly Worded Waivers Are not Without Limitations

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By Doyice Cotten

Many, or even most, waivers are written in such a manner as to include seemingly all mishaps that can occur to the client. There are many cases illustrating that the power of a liability waiver is not unlimited.

In a 2015 Illinois case (Hawkins v. Capital Fitness, Inc.), Hawkins signed the following waiver:

 

“MEMBER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT EXERCISE, TANNING AND USE OF THE EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES OF THE COMPANY OR OF THEIR AFFILIATES NATURALLY INVOLVES THE RISK OF INJURY AND MEDICAL DISORDERS,

Surprising Ruling in New Jersey Case

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By Doyice Cotten

James Walters joined a YMCA and signed a membership agreement containing a waiver. About three years later, he suffered injury when he slipped on a step while walking to the YMCA pool – allegedly because the slip resistant rubber on the stairs was worn off the bottom step. The trial court granted summary judgment ruling that the waiver language protected the club against liability for negligence (Walters v. YMCA,

Waivers, Wrongful Death, and New Jersey: A Caution

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By Doyice Cotten

When a person participating in a recreational or sports activity is killed due to the negligence or recklessness of the activity provider, it is apparent that the deceased party cannot sue the responsible party for damages. In such cases, the heirs of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death is an action brought on behalf of a deceased person’s beneficiaries that alleges the cause of the death was the negligent, reckless, or willful act of another.