Tag Archives: parental waiver

WAIVERS FOR MINOR PARTICIPANTS: Statutes Relating to Particular Activities — Part I

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By Doyice Cotten

This is the first of an eight-part series on the enforceability of liability waivers of negligence when the sport or recreation participant is a minor.

 It is well-established that a liability waiver will protect sport, recreation, and fitness providers from liability for injury resulting from provider negligence in almost every state when the waiver is well-written, properly administered, and voluntarily signed by an adult participant. Many providers,

Delaware Court Enforces Motocross Parental Waiver for Negligence but Not for Recklessness

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By Doyice Cotten

 

In 2013, Tommy Lynam (age 13), was riding a motocross bicycle at Blue Diamond Motocross near New Castle. While riding, Tommy rode off a jump, made a hard landing, and was unable to stop in time before colliding with a large metal shipping container. Lynam sued alleging negligence and recklessness (Lynam v. Blue Diamond Motocross LLC, 2016).

 

Lynam’s father had signed a waiver entitled “Parental Consent, Release and Waiver of Liability,

Florida Waiver Law for Minors

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By Doyice Cotten

The Florida Supreme Court (Kirton v. Fields, 2008) has ruled that parental waivers designed to protect commercial entities from liability for negligence are not enforceable. Florida appellate courts, however, have enforced parental waivers when used by schools or recreational entities (Krathen v. School Board of Monroe Country, Fla., 2007; Gonzalez v. City of Coral Gables, 2004).

In 2013, the Florida Legislature passed F.S.

Parental Waiver Fails to Protect in Oklahoma

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By Doyice Cotten

Makenzie Wethington, sixteen years-old, wanted to learn to skydive (Wethington v. Swainson, 2015). She and her parents, went to Pegasus Airsport Center to learn how. She and her parents signed a waiver of liability as part of the registration process. She underwent an instruction course that included determining the condition of the parachute after deployment, gaining control and resolving any deployment problems and, if necessary, activating her emergency parachute.

Parental Waiver Ambiguity Caused by Failure to Specify that Both Parent’s and Minor’s Rights Are Waived

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By Doyice Cotten

In a 2013 California case (Vahedy v. Remigio), a 16 year-old camper was injured while being transported by a camp volunteer back to the Jews for Jesus headquarters for the final night of the camp. Cecilia Vahedy’s father had signed a “Medical Authorization and Liaibilty Release.” There were a number of issues in the case, but the one addressed in this post regards the possible ambiguity created when the waiver fails to clearly specify that the parent is waiving both the parent’s and the minor participant’s right to sue.

First Parental Waiver Enforced in North Carolina

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By Doyice Cotten

In Kelly v. United States of America (2014), the first parental waiver was enforced in North Carolina by a U.S. District Court. Morgan Kelly, a 15-year-old girl, was a cadet in the JROTC program at her high school. She attended a JROTC orientation visit to a United States Marine Corps Base after one of her parents signed a waiver of liability on her behalf. She was injured and this suit was filed.

Parental Equine Waivers Are Enforceable in Utah

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By Doyice Cotten

Utah law regarding the enforcement of parental waivers has been clearly established since the Hawkins v. Peart Utah Supreme Court decision in 2001. The Court ruled that it was against public policy for a parent to release the prospective negligence claim prior to or after an injury.

In a 2013 case (Penunuri v. Sundance Partners, LTD), however, the Utah Supreme Court examined the Utah Equine Statute passed in 2003.

Mississippi Parental Waiver Law

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By Doyice Cotten

Many businesses and organizations, like Mississippi State University, require parents to sign a liability waiver on behalf of their minor child or children. However, Mississippi law on the enforceability of such waivers is unclear.

The Mississippi Supreme Court stated in Khoury v. Saik (1948) that “It is well settled that the infant can waive none of his rights.”  It went on to say “Minors can waive nothing. In the law they are helpless,

A Look at Mississippi Waiver Law

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By Doyice Cotten

Mississippi waiver law is not crystal clear in spite of several Supreme Court of Mississippi rulings. Some major considerations are addressed in the following.

Quinn v. Mississippi State University (1998)

An important liability waiver case addressed by the Mississippi Supreme Court (Quinn v. Mississippi State University, 1998) involved a 12-year-old baseball player at a summer baseball camp. The father and the boy signed a pre-printed liability waiver.

Oregon Addresses a Parental Waiver for the First Time

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By Doyice Cotten

Prior to this case, Oregon was one of about 20 states in which the courts had not ruled on the enforceability of parental waivers in a recreational setting. In Bagley v. Mt. Bachelor, Inc. (2013), Myles Bagley’s father signed a waiver and indemnity agreement on behalf of his son so that the 17 year-old, an expert snowboarder, could purchase a season pass to Mt. Bachelor. The waiver was signed two weeks before Myles’ 18th birthday.