Tag Archives: ordinary negligence

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.

Waivers OK in Montana – New Statute

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By Doyice Cotten

For years there have been three states that prohibit the enforcement of pre-injury liability waivers: Louisiana, Montana, and Virginia. Now there are only two as the Montana Legislature has passed HB0204. Granted, there are a few more states in which courts are rather reluctant to enforce waivers.

Some of the reasoning behind the statute included getting maximal participation and availability of sports and recreational activities for residents and visitors; the fundamental right of people to decide on activities and contracts;

Michigan Waiver Case Examines Ordinary vs. Gross Negligence When the Steering Wheel Comes Off a Racecar

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By Doyice Cotten

Michigan courts have consistently ruled that a liability waiver can insulate a defendant against ordinary negligence. Likewise they have on many occasions held that such a release cannot protect a party against gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct. In Gonzalez v. Rusty Wallace Racing Experience (2015 Mich. App. LEXIS 25), the Court of Appeals of Michigan considered the enforceability of two waivers signed by a plaintiff prior to engaging in the Racing Experience.

Waiver Terminology (Part I)

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By Doyice Cotten

 Most professionals recognize the terms “waiver of liability,” “release and “assumption of risk.” Most, however, are not sure about how these and other similar terms are defined and what their exact function is. In this 3-part series, I will present a brief description of each, along with its intended function. If you encounter some of these terms often, it is probably important that you understand them.

 Most of these documents are legal contracts and must be signed by adults.

Understanding Negligence and Liability: “Causes of Injury” (Part 3)

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By Doyice Cotten

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, we addressed the issue of negligence. This post presents explains that there are 3 causes of injury and the possible liability associated with each.

Injury and risk may be placed into three categories. These categories are 1) inherent risks, 2) risks arising from negligent behavior of the provider, and 3) risks arising from extreme or aggravated provider behavior that goes beyond ordinary negligence.

First Things First when Writing a Waiver

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By Doyice Cotten

Many people and businesses rely on waivers to protect against legal liability for injuries resulting from negligent acts by the business or its employees. Some of those relying think waivers will always protect; others, more realistically, realize that waivers can protect under some circumstances, but not under others. The waivers in the following three sport and recreation waiver cases failed to protect for, essentially, the same error. Look for the similarities and check your waiver for that mistake.

Avoiding Ambiguity in a Waiver

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By Doyice Cotten

This article was taken from Waivers & Releases of Liability 7th ed. and updated for SportWaiver.com. Click SportWaiver for a limited time special price on the book.

Courts in most states have ruled that to be enforceable, a waiver must clearly and unambiguously express the intent of the client to relieve the provider from liability for its negligence. Ambiguity is defined as doubtfulness, or doubleness of meaning and is said to exist when reasonable persons can find different meanings in the language.