Minnesota passes language requirement for liability waivers

By Allison Eklund

Thanks to Allison for permission to republish her informative article –  © 2013 Eklund Law, PC.  

As the dust settled from the Minnesota State Legislature’s spring session, a new statute passed affecting language in liability waivers caused some ripples through the equine insurance industry but didn’t attract headline news.

Most equine businesses offering riding instruction, carriage rides, or other services are familiar with liability waivers. 

Update on Whether the Word “Negligence” is Required in Florida Waivers

By Doyice Cotten

In a November, 2012 post, Florida Waiver Law: Must the Waiver Include the Term “Negligence?”, we learned that for a waiver to be enforceable, the term “negligence,” or its equivalent must be included in a waiver in all Florida districts except the 5th. In an August 16, 2013, case, the Fifth District Court of Appeals provided more information regarding Florida law (UCF Athletics Association, Inc. v. Plancher,

Is Hazing a Crime in Your State? Check Out this Anti-Hazing Website

By Doyice Cotten

Any risk management program should give attention to the prevention of hazing. This traditional, seemingly harmless activity is in the news almost every day: New hazing exposed; A trial commences; Teachers fired; Children killed, seriously injured, or psychologically damaged. But many in positions of authority allow this dangerous tradition to continue.

Well, such people should be aware that hazing is no longer something to chuckle about. No longer can they safely ignore hazing or criticize the kid who complains.

Drafting Waiver Agreements for Use in Wisconsin: It’s Not Getting Any Easier

Alexander (Sandie) Pendleton

Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C.

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has issued a decision that has implications for all businesses and organizations that use waiver agreements in Wisconsin.  In Brooten v. Hickok Rehabilation Services (issued April 30, 2013, recommended for publication), the court of appeals held void a waiver agreement that had been signed by an individual who joined a health club,

Legislative Alert: New Proposed Minnesota Bills Would Void Waiver Agreements

By Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton of KMK

This article was originally published on ReleaseLaw.com.

Bills are advancing in both chambers of the Minnesota legislature which if adopted, would render liability waivers void in many settings. Because both chambers of the Minnesota legislature and the executive branch are controlled by the Democratic Farm Labor Party, there is a good chance that some version of these bills will be enacted. If enacted,

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

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.

Are Waivers for Minors Enforceable? An Update!


By Doyice J. Cotten

This update is taken from Waivers & Releases of Liability, 8th ed. by Doyice and Mary Cotten. It summarizes the most recent state case law regarding the enforceability of waivers for minors. For those requiring more information, the book has 14 fact-filled pages giving more detail than is possible here.

States that have or do enforce waivers for minor participants

First, waivers signed only by a minor are not enforceable in any state.

Will Waivers Protect Against Liability for Gross Negligence and Other Extreme Actions?

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.

By Doyice Cotten

Waivers are now enforceable and can protect the service provider from liability for ordinary negligence in almost every state. However, courts in most states generally hold that waivers intended to protect against gross negligence, reckless conduct, willful or wanton conduct, and intentional acts are against public policy. 

Avoiding Ambiguity in a Waiver

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.