Parental Equine Waivers Are Enforceable in Utah

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.

Colorado Court Gives Reasons for Enforcing an Equine Waiver

 

By Doyice Cotten

In a recent Colorado equine injury lawsuit (Eburn v. Capitol Peak Outfitters, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106 236), an inexperienced rider was injured when her saddle rotated to the side and caused her to fall from the horse.  The court examined the waiver she had signed and concluded that Capitol Peak Outfitters (CPO) was protected from liability for such injuries.

The court declared the waiver clearly and unambiguously expresses the parties’ intent to preclude CPO’s liability for negligent acts.

WAIVERS/RELEASES IN EQUINE ACTIVITIES

We are fortunate to have a new article by the lady who is perhaps the foremost expert in equine law – Julie Fershtman. While the article relates specifically to equine waivers, waiver law is the same regardless of the sport or activity.

By

Julie I. Fershtman, Esq.

Introduction

Stables, race tracks, show managers, horse trainers, riding instructors, and individual horse owners often seek ways to reduce their liability risks. 

Landowner Liability Under Equine and Recreational Use Statutes

Holly C. Rudolph, J.D. has produced a product that can be of great interest to those in sport, recreation, and fitness industries.  She has collected all Equine Activity Liability Statutes as well as all Recreational Land Use statutes and put them in one convenient place. sport lawyers, sport law professors, and recreation professors should find this an invaluable resource.

Holly is a recent graduate of Lewis and Clark Law School, a Dean’s Fellow,

Provider Not Liable Due to Equine Activity Liability Statute

This recent case is intended to complement and supplement the excellent article Landowner Liability Under Equine and Recreational Use Statutes written by Holly Rudolph (also published today on this site). This illustrative case,  summarized and abridged by Doyice Cotten, clearly illustrates the importance of state Equine Activity Liability Statutes to providers of equine activities. The reader is invited to read the case in its entirety for more information.

PERRY v. WHITLEY COUNTY 4-H CLUBS INC.

Indemnification Language Matters in Two 2010 Equine Cases

This article by Doyice Cotten illlustrates that the language used is crucial to the enforcement of indemnification agreements.

Two recent equine cases illustrate the importance of the indemnification language used in liability waivers. In Polechek v. Schina (2010 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 674), the owner of a horse that was running loose around the track in the wrong direction attempted to keep her horse from escaping from the track.  She moved into a gap in the rail of the track and shouted “Whoa.” The horse ran over her causing substantial injury.

Utah Supreme Court Reaffirms: Parental Waivers Are Not Enforceable in Utah

 By Doyice Cotten

Levi Rutherford, a minor and a highly skilled skier, suffered a brain injury when he skied into a patch of thick, wet, machine-made snow and crashed at a ski resort d.b.a. The Canyons. His parents sued alleging negligence and premises liability (Rutherford v. Talisker Canyon Finance Co., LLC, 2019).  Defendants claimed the suit was barred by the waiver signed by Rutherford’s parents and by the Utah ski statute.

Of interest in this post is the Utah Supreme Court ruling as to whether parental waivers are enforceable in Utah.

Who We Are

Doyice J. Cotten is an emeritus professor of sport management at Georgia Southern University where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in sport law and risk management. He manages his own writing and risk management consulting business, Sport Risk Consulting.

During his professional career, he has been active in many professional organizations in the areas of sport management and physical education. Dr. Cotten served as president of the Sport and Recreation Law Association. He also served as president of the Georgia Association for Health,

Liability Waivers 101 (2018 Update)

By Doyice Cotten

Where there are fitness, recreation, and sport activities, there are injuries! Unfortunately, where there are injuries, there are lawsuits! Providers of these activities must take care to manage risk in three ways.  First, the provider should institute a sound risk management program which includes an approach toward reducing the likelihood of injury as much as possible.  Secondly, they should purchase financial protection through liability insurance. Third, they should use an agreement by which the client agrees to relieve the provider of liability for participant injury – the document should include an assumption of risk (for inherent risks),

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

 

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,