First-Aid Training? Won’t That Increase My Organization’s Legal Liability Risk?

By Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton

A reader of my website, ReleaseLaw.com recently raised the following question:

Suppose a recreational business is trying to decide whether it should institute a new policy, requiring its employees to receive first-aid training. The worry or concern the business has, however, is that if it arranges for such training, and one of its employees then provides first aid unsuccessfully or inadequately, is that going to result in the business getting sued,

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.

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).

New Minnesota Law Voids Some, But Not All, Waivers

Alexander T. Pendleton, Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C.

An attempt by a group of Minnesota legislators to amend Minnesota law so as to void all waiver-of-liability agreements has failed.  Instead, the legislature adopted a bill that provides that any agreement between parties for a “consumer service” (including a recreational activity), which agreement purports to waive or release liability resulting from conduct that constitutes “greater than ordinary negligence,” is against public policy, and is therefore void and unenforceable.

Risk Management: Cruise Ship Precautions for Jet Ski Tour

By Doyice Cotten

In a case involving a collision between two jet skis during a jet ski tour provided by Royal Caribbean Cruises (Royal), Royal listed the risk management steps taken in an effort to prevent injuries ( In re Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD, 2013).  The tour consisted of a number of jet skiers in a single file follow-the-leader type tour. Providers of all sport businesses would do well to study these steps and adapt them to their sport business.

Risk Management: Vetting Your Independent Contractor

By Doyice Cotten

The general rule is that a business entity is liable for injuries resulting from the negligence of the business or its employees. The business, however, is not generally liable for injuries caused by the negligence of independent contractors working.

Nevertheless, the business entity does have an important duty in regard to engaging an independent contractor – the duty to take care and do due diligence in the hiring (and retention) of the independent contractor.

Release/Assumption of Risk Agreement Language Protects Mechanical Bull Provider from Liability for Inherent Risks

By Doyice Cotten

While in a bar after watching others, Revel Thom decided to ride a mechanical bull.(Thom v. Rebel’s Honkey Tonk, 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 7555) Before riding the bull, he completed and signed a document entitled PARTICIPANT AGREEMENT, RELEASE, AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK. When he was thrown from the bull, he fractured two vertebrae in his back.

He then sued appellees for his injuries. The trial court awarded summary judgment to Rebel’s Honky Tonk.

“Management will not be Responsible for Accidents” Does NOT Protect in Florida Case

By Doyice Cotten

A guest at Grand Seas Resort was injured when his chair collapsed on the patio. He sued alleging negligence and the Resort claimed protection from its exculpatory clause in the “guest license agreement.” The entire exculpatory language was “Management . . . will not be responsible for accidents or injury to guest . . . .” (Hackett v. Grand Seas Resort Owner’s Association, Inc., 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 10111)

The trial court granted summary judgment,

Waiver Should Specify What Action is Being Released!

By Doyice Cotten

A lot rides on a liability waiver; they often determine whether the provider wins or loses a negligence suit. It is important enough that the waiver creator should take care to make certain that the waiver clearly defines the intent of the document. The following two cases clearly illustrate the importance of clarity of language. Note the brevity of the exculpatory language in each case.

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In Hackett v.