Fla. Statute: Parents Can Waive Inherent Risks

May 22, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ —

In 2008, the Florida Supreme Court held that parents who sign liability waivers allowing their children to participate in risky adventure activities are endangering their children’s property and estate, and therefore not acting in their children’s best interest.  As the court noted, child liability waivers protect businesses at the expense of children, which hardly seems a reasonable balancing of interests.

Accordingly, the Florida Supreme Court held that in the absence of a statute clearly permitting child liability waivers, these waivers were unenforceable.  However, recently the Florida legislature passed legislation allowing businesses to revive the discredited waivers. This legislation allows parents to sign liability waivers releasing their rights to sue for injuries caused by the inherent risks of an activity.

These waivers do not allow businesses to waive all liability; even if a parent signs a waiver, a business can still be held liable for harm arising from negligence. However, these waivers are likely to prevent many injured children from seeking compensation for their injuries. 

Gov. Charlie Crist signed the bill into law on Apr. 27, 2010.