Choice-of-Law Provision Fails: Waiver Falls under Vermont Law

By Doyice Cotten

Brian Kearney was seriously injured while competing in a USSA sanctioned amateur downhill ski race at Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, Vermont, in February, 2015. USSA members were eligible to participate and membership required signing a liability waiver (Kearney v. Okemo Limited Liability Company, 2016).

The waiver contained the following exculpatory provision:

Member hereby unconditionally WAIVES AND RELEASES ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, AND AGREES TO HOLD HARMLESS,

Delaware Court Enforces Motocross Parental Waiver for Negligence but Not for Recklessness

By Doyice Cotten

 

In 2013, Tommy Lynam (age 13), was riding a motocross bicycle at Blue Diamond Motocross near New Castle. While riding, Tommy rode off a jump, made a hard landing, and was unable to stop in time before colliding with a large metal shipping container. Lynam sued alleging negligence and recklessness (Lynam v. Blue Diamond Motocross LLC, 2016).

 

Lynam’s father had signed a waiver entitled “Parental Consent, Release and Waiver of Liability,

Within the Scope of Employment: Vicarious Liability and Maritime Law

By Doyice Cotten

Any number of parties may be named as defendants in a negligence suit. The obvious defendant is the party that committed the act leading to the injury – generally an employee of an organization or corporation. The supervisor or administrator who serves as the superior of the employee is also frequently named. And commonly, the employer of the employee (generally the “deep pocket”)  is frequently named based on the doctrine of respondeat superior (also called vicarious liability.)

The doctrine of respondeat superior states that “the negligence of the employee is imputed to the corporate entity if the employee was acting within the scope of the the employee’s responsibility and authority and if the act was not grossly negligent,

A Look at California Law on Negligence and Liability Waivers

By Doyice Cotten

In R.H. v. Los Gatos Union School District (2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47035), a high school wrestler was injured when he wrestled a larger opponent in a match. There were many claims including mismatching and negligence. Prior to wrestling, the father of R.H. signed a liability waiver. Here we will only look at the waiver defense of the defendants.

When R.H. joined the wrestling team, his father signed the required “After School Sports Emergency/Health Insurance form”

U.S. District Court Case Clouds Vermont Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Over the past 20 years four Vermont Supreme Court rulings have made Vermont waiver law relatively clear. A recent U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont ruling (Littlejohn v. Timberquest Park at Magic, LLC, 2015) seems to have muddled the issue. It seems that occasionally federal courts get it wrong in predicting how a state supreme court would rule.

The Vermont Supreme Court (Dalury v.

N.C. Law Regarding Enforcement of Waivers of Liability

 By Doyice Cotten

This case (McMurray v. United States of America, 2012 U. S. Dist.  LEXIS 176608) involved a government vehicle accident in which a passenger was injured when the U.S. Marine driver ran a red light. While this is not specifically sport-related, it is pertinent to the enforcement of waivers in North Carolina.

Debra McMurray was returning from a Marine Corps seminar when she was injured. The issue was the enforceability of a waiver that McMurray signed before the accident;

A Look at Mississippi Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Mississippi waiver law is not crystal clear in spite of several Supreme Court of Mississippi rulings. Some major considerations are addressed in the following.

Quinn v. Mississippi State University (1998)

An important liability waiver case addressed by the Mississippi Supreme Court (Quinn v. Mississippi State University, 1998) involved a 12-year-old baseball player at a summer baseball camp. The father and the boy signed a pre-printed liability waiver.

A Cursory Look at Illinois Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Note: This posting is not intended to provide a comprehensive presentation on Illinois waiver law, but rather to offer the reader a brief look at what some of the courts have said about waivers and their enforcement.

Contracts

Illinois courts construe contracts to give effect to the intention of the parties as expressed in the language of the agreement. Illinois law construes contracts as a whole, and generally disallows extrinsic evidence unless an ambiguity exists within the contract’s four corners (Platt v.

A Cursory Look at California Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Note: This posting is not intended to provide an comprehensive presentation on California waiver law, but rather to offer the reader a brief look at what some of the courts have said about waivers and their enforcement.

Requirements

“California courts require a high degree of clarity and specificity in a release in order to find that it relieves a party from liability for its own negligence.” (Cohen v.

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 .