Is the Word “Negligence” Required for Waivers in New York Courts?

By Doyice Cotten

In 2016, Michelle Kalinkina, a professional model agreed to have a public haircut and styling demonstration. During the haircut, the stylist cut Kalinkina’s neck causing physical injury and scarring. She subsequently sued for damages alleging negligence and gross negligence (Kalinkina v. Martino Cartier Enterprises, LLC, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95670).

Cartier provided a waiver signed by Kalinkina as a defense against the negligence claim. The waiver read:

I am providing modeling services for International Designs Corp.

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,

Negligence or Otherwise” Language Questioned in New Jersey Health Club Case

By Doyice Cotten

Jenna Sauro, a New Jersey resident, filed a class action lawsuit against L.A. Fitness International, LLC. (Sauro v. L.A. Fitness International, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58144). She made many allegations including that the contract violated three New Jersey statutes. One of the claims made by the plaintiff included the allegation that the waiver attempted to waive liability for intentional conduct, recklessness, and gross negligence.

This claim arose from language in the waiver:

 Member hereby releases and holds L.A.

Make Certain your Waiver Protects You against Your own Negligence!

By Doyice Cotten

Roseann Jablanofsky died in an accident while taking a motorcycle safety training program. She wanted to be able to accompany her husband on motorcycle rides.

Prior to the course, she signed a waiver of liability; the course included classroom instruction and riding practice in a parking lot. In addition, the class was shown a video that warned of the risks associated with operating a motorcycle, and all participants were verbally warned.

At one point during the riding class,

Which States “Require” the Use of the Term “Negligence” in Waivers

By Doyice Cotten

Sportwaiver has, on a number of occasions, emphasized the importance, or even the necessity, of specifying within the waiver that the signer is releasing the provider from liability for injuries resulting from the negligence of the provider. In this post, we are re-emphasizing this need. The reader can check below to see what the courts in the reader’s state seem to require currently.

Statutes and the case law in the following states (or jurisdictions) have not yielded enough information for us to determine if courts require the use of the term “negligence” to be used.

Arkansas Martial Arts Waiver Enforced without the Term “Negligence

By Doyice Cotten

Pedro Trujillo suffered an injury while training at TK Martial Arts Academy and died two days later. It was alleged that Pedro was injured when two teaching assistants threw him to the ground numerous times while under the supervision of the instructor – who knew Pedro’s head was striking the floor.

The plaintiff (Trujillo v. TK Martial Arts Academy, 2015) alleged negligence claiming a breach of the duty of ordinary care,

Florida Supreme Court Rules on the Need to Include “Negligence” Language in Liability Waivers

By Doyice Cotten

For some time, the appellate courts in Florida have disagreed as to whether a waiver must include the term “negligence,” “negligent acts,” or similar language in order to be enforceable. In Sanislo v. Give Kids the World, Inc. (2015 Fla. LEXIS 214), the Supreme Court of Florida ruled the use of the word “negligence” is not required. The decision came in a close 4 to 3 verdict.

The Fifth District Court of Appeals had “held that an exculpatory clause was effective to bar a negligence action despite the absence of express language referring to release of the defendant for its own negligence or negligent acts.” The First,

Waiver and Indemnity Agreement Upheld for Ordinary Negligence in Massachusetts Triathlon Case

By Doyice Cotten

Richard Angelo died during the swimming portion of a triathlon organized by USA Triathlon (USAT). In spite of Richard having signed a waiver and indemnity agreement, his wife Cheryl filed suit alleging negligence, gross negligence, pain and suffering, and infliction of emotional distress (Angelo v. USA Triathlon, 2014). The waiver read:

  1. I hereby Release, Waive and Covenant Not to Sue, and further agree to Indemnify, Defend and Hold Harmless the following parties: USAT,

Hawaii Waiver Law Clarified: Waivers Don’t Protect Against Negligence!!!

By Doyice Cotten

Waiver law in Hawaii has been unclear for some time. In the past, waivers have been enforced in Hawaii, however, in 1997 the Hawaii Legislature passed HRS § 663-1.54 which read in part:

(a) Any person who owns or operates a business providing recreational activities to the public, such as, without limitation, scuba or skin diving, sky diving, bicycle tours, and mountain climbing, shall exercise reasonable care to ensure the safety of patrons and the public,

Kentucky Motocross Race Waiver Upheld for Negligence and Willful and Wanton Negligence

By Doyice Cotten

In 2011, Walter Brotherton worked on a voluntary basis as a mechanic for one of the racers in the Kentucky Indoor Motocross Championship.

Brotherton was injured during a practice heat while standing near the starting gate.  He and others  decided to move and watch the practice from another location inside the Arena, but at that moment a motorcyclist topped a hill and careened into the starting area injuring Brotherton.

He subsequently sued,