Waivers

Articles relating to waiver law and/or how to write an effective waiver.

Waiver Not Against Public Policy in Pennsylvania Health Club Slip & Fall Incident

By Doyice Cotten

Dolores Vinson, a member of LA Fitness, slipped and fell when she stepped on a wet mat. She sued the club for negligence in their maintenance (Vinson v. Fitness & Sports Clubs, LLC, 2018). The club claimed protection based on a liability waiver in the membership agreement. The trial court granted the LA Fitness motion for summary judgment.

Pennsylvania Law

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has named three conditions that must be met for a waiver to be enforceable.

Does Your Waiver Make any Promises to Your Clients?

By Doyice Cotten

It is not uncommon in liability waivers for the writer to include such language as a promise of safety, an effort to make the activity safe, a promise of safe equipment, an assurance of good supervision, and/or assertion of well-trained staff or instructors.  However, as you will learn in this post, this is not a very good idea. While this case deals only with Alaska waiver law, the inclusion of such promises in your waiver  might bear reconsideration.

How Long does a Waiver Last?

  By Doyice Cotten

In a 2018 New Jersey waiver case (Weed v Sky N.J., LLC, 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 410), the primary issue revolved around the enforceability of an arbitration agreement included in the liability waiver. There were two important questions addressed. First, what is the duration of a waiver (and the arbitration agreement)? And second, who can sign a waiver on behalf of a minor.

Under New Jersey law, it is well established that parental waivers (a waiver signed on behalf of a minor by a parent or a legal guardian) are unenforceable.

Two Health Club Cases Clarify Delaware Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Reminder: There is a new Fitness Law Academy Newsletter designed specifically for fitness professionals. It is written by Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek, a fitness industry authority. And the best news of all —  its FREE!.    Click here for your free subscription!   djc

In 2016, the Delaware Supreme Court addressed a case in which a Planet Fitness health club member was injured when a cable broke on a seated rowing machine (Ketler v.

Connecticut Court Admits Waiver to Show Plaintiff Knew the Inherent Risk of Horseback Riding

By Doyice J. Cotten

Stefana Pecher took riding lesson at Showtime Stables which was owned by Rhea Distefano. After about six lessons, the horse ridden by Pecher was acting lazy, was not obeying commands, and was reacting slowly. She was told by the instructor to use the crop to tap lightly on the shoulder of the horse; the horse bolted, causing her to fall and injure herself.

During the trial, the defense entered into evidence a photo of a warning sign posted at eye level at the barn door and a liability waiver signed by the plaintiff.

Court in New York Ski Case Rules that Parental Waivers Allowing Minors to Ski are Valid & Enforceable

By Doyice Cotten

Bryan DiFrancesco’s son was injured while on a ski lift with a ski instructor employed by the defendant Win-Sum Ski Corp [DBA Holiday Valley, Inc.]. The uncle of the boy had signed a waiver of liability and assumption of inherent risks so that the 5 year-old could ski. The boy fell from the lift and sustained severe injuries. The father subsequently filed a suit in federal court against the ski resort on behalf of the boy (DiFrancesco v.

Does an Indiana Climbing Wall Waiver Protect Against Claim Negligent Training of Employees?

By Doyice Cotten

Alexis Wiemer visited Hoosier Heights Indoor Climbing Facility in October, 2014. Weimer attended a facility orientation in which an employee, Kayli Mellencamp, conducted an employee-guided training on how to boulder, belay, and top rope climb. Wiemer then signed a Waiver form. Pertinent parts of the waiver form read:

RELEASE AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK: In consideration of being permitted to use the facilities of Hoosier Heights Indoor Rock Climbing Facility L.L.C., and mindful of the significant risks involved with the activities incidental thereto,

Two Virginia Courts Admit Redacted Waivers to Show Plaintiff Understood the Risks

By Doyice Cotten

James McConnel was injured while participating in Segway Polo associated with Omni Hotels Management Corp. The issue came up as to the admissibility of the waiver signed by McConnel (McConnel v. Omni Hotels Mgmt. Corp., 2017).  Since prospective waivers of liability are void as against public policy under Virginia law (Hiett v. Lake Barcroft Cmty. Ass’n, Inc., 1992),  Omni asked the court to rule that the “Segway Personal Transporter Tours Liability Release Form”

Can One Spouse Sign the Waiver for the Other Spouse?

By Doyice Cotten

Often both a husband and a wife attend a sport, recreation, or fitness facility to participate. The business has a requirement that everyone signs a waiver before participating. Is there a problem if one of the couple signs his or her own waiver and then signs the waiver of the spouse?

In the 2017 case, Burns v. Parks (2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4043), Joseph and Dawn Burns entered Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park to participate.

Risk Management Failures in Massachusetts YMCA Result in Death

By Doyice Cotten

Reminder: There is a new Fitness Law Academy Newsletter designed specifically for fitness professionals. It is written by Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek, a fitness industry authority. And the best news of all —  its FREE!.    Click here for your free subscription!   djc

The last post dealt with a risk management failure resulting in quadriplegia. This post also involves abysmal risk management – this time resulting in the death of a 62-year-old man (Miller v.