Connecticut, California, and North Dakota Courts Address Parental Waivers

By Doyice Cotten

Recent 2013 cases in Connecticut, California, and North Dakota have addressed the question as to whether parents have the authority to sign away the rights of a minor to recover for injury resulting from the negligence of the provider.

California Case

Lotz v. The Claremont Club (2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5748) involved a 10 year-old who was injured in a dodgeball game. It is well established that California law allows the enforcement of parental waivers provided the waiver is unambiguous and meets court requirements.

Health Club Case Sheds Light on Puerto Rico Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Kelvin Lugo lost part of his index finger while returning a dumbbell to the rack as another dumbbell shifted and rolled onto his finger.  He sued alleging negligence on the part of Health Club of America (HCA). Among the defenses offered by HCA was the fact that Lugo had signed the following waiver intended to release the club from liability:

Millenium Fitness Management Urges all members to Obtain a physical examination From their physicians prior to the use of any exercise equipment or attendance in any exercise class .

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,

California Inflatable Rock-Climbing Wall Case Rules on Waiver

By Doyice Cotten

California waiver law was addressed in a recent inflatable rock climbing wall case (Vinson v. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3380). The case is summarized here, but much more can be learned about California waiver law by reading the entire case

Robert Vinson was a member of the Paramount “Studio Club.” To be a member of the Club, he was required to complete an application and pay a fee.

Waiver Effectiveness at Senior Adult Recreation Centers

By Doyice Cotten

This post looks at two California cases addressing waiver effectiveness at recreation centers focusing on senior adults.

1997

The first case was YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles v. Superior Court (1997 Cal. App. LEXIS 392) which upheld the enforceability of a liability waiver in a case arising from a fall by a healthy, 73-year-old woman at a YMCA senior program. The senior lady fell down the stairs after viewing a jewelry display.

California Waiver Case Examines: 1) Group Waivers, 2) Gross Negligence, and 3) California Civil Code Section 1668

By Doyice Cotten

In Jones v. City of Ukiah (2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5125), Ernest Jones was injured sliding into second base in a softball game. He then sued the city alleging negligence, gross negligence, and statutory liability for having a dangerous condition on public property – claiming that the base was improperly anchored and did not lie flat. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the City and the plaintiff appealed.

Court Makes Clear the Texas Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Note: This is a common negligence suit in which the defendant claims protection from a waiver of liability. Seldom do courts describe state waiver law so clearly.

Kimberly Ramirez , while a member of 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc, slipped and fell when she stepped into a puddle of water on the floor (Ramirez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69451).

Waivers NOT Containing the Word “Negligence” Fail in 3 Recent New York State Cases

By Doyice Cotten

Some waivers protect; others fail to protect. There are many reasons waivers fall short of providing the protection intended by the provider.  Some reasons include gross negligence involved, violation of statutory duty, unequal bargaining power, unconscionable contract, no opportunity to bargain, employer/employee relationships and many more. Most common, however, is that the language used in the waiver was ambiguous.  Courts in most states specify that to be enforced, the waivers must clearly and unambiguously describe the intent of the two parties.

Lake Tahoe Parasailing Waiver Case Governed by Federal Admiralty Law

By Doyice Cotten

A lady was injured while parasailing on Lake Tahoe and sued alleging negligence by the provider (Cobb v. Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services, LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20139).  Prior to beginning the activity, she signed the following liability waiver intended to protect the provider from liability for injuries caused by provider negligence.

In consideration of my being allowed to participate in the parasailing  [*2] activities operated and conducted by [Zephyr],

Waiver Terminology (Part III): Why the Waiver is Important!

By Doyice Cotten

This is Part III of this series on waiver terminology. This part is intended to impress upon the sport and recreation professional the value of waivers of liability.

Why all the fuss about waivers of liability? The following California case (Padilla v. The Sports Club Company, 2008 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8150) illustrates very clearly why recreation and sports entities should use waivers.

Situation

Belinda Padilla was a member of The Sports Club Company,