Updating Parental Waiver Law — Part II

By Doyice Cotten

Several court rulings as well as a new statute have affected the parental waiver landscape recently. Three states were discussed in an article posted last week. Here, we will address recent cases affecting parental waiver law in Alabama, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Parental waiver law for all states is covered in depth in Waivers & Releases of Liability, 7th ed.

Alabama

J.T., a minor, was injured while riding his motorcycle on a motocross course at Monster Mountain MX Park.

Updating Parental Waiver Law — Part I

By Doyice Cotten

Several court rulings as well as a new statute have affected the parental waiver landscape recently. The purpose of this two-part article is to bring you up-to-date on changes in the law. Three states are discussed below and Alabama, Texas, and Pennsylvania will be covered next week. Parental waiver law for all states is covered in depth in Waivers & Releases of Liability, 7th ed.

Iowa

The Iowa Supreme Court has recently clarified parental waiver law in Iowa (Galloway v.

Parental Equine Waivers Are Enforceable in Utah

By Doyice Cotten

Utah law regarding the enforcement of parental waivers has been clearly established since the Hawkins v. Peart Utah Supreme Court decision in 2001. The Court ruled that it was against public policy for a parent to release the prospective negligence claim prior to or after an injury.

In a 2013 case (Penunuri v. Sundance Partners, LTD), however, the Utah Supreme Court examined the Utah Equine Statute passed in 2003.

What if a Minor Lies about His Age? Is the Waiver enforceable?

By Doyice Cotten

Service providers often ask “Is my waiver still enforceable if a minor lies about his age and signs the waiver?” The answer probably varies considerably depending upon where the incident happens. Remember, waiver law is state law and the law is not the same everywhere. A recent Georgia court provided some evidence regarding the answer to this question – at least for service providers in Georgia.

Adventure Air Sports Kennesaw, LLC (AASK) requires that all participants sign a waiver of liability and minor participants must have his or her parents sign the waiver.

Is an Arbitration clause in an unenforceable waiver enforceable in NJ?

By Doyice Cotten

In Hojnowski v. Vans Skate Park (2006), The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that parental waivers of liability (those signed by parents on behalf of their minor child) are not enforceable in New Jersey. In that same decision, it also ruled that parental arbitration agreements (those signed by parents on behalf of their minor child) are enforceable. The rationale in these decisions has been that a liability waiver, if enforced, takes away the rights of the minor for compensation for loss;

Court in Texas Trampoline Park Case Enforces Waiver for Gross Negligence

By Doyice Cotten

Graciela Quiroz and her sixteen-year-old son went to Jumpstreet for trampolining. Before jumping, she signed a pre-injury waiver of liability “Jumpstreet, LLC Release and Parent/Guardian Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk.” After signing the waiver, Graciela attempted to do a flip and injured her neck; this resulted in paralysis from the waist down. She sued Jumpstreet for negligence and gross negligence and as next friend of two minor children for their loss of parental consortium and for mental anguish;

Liability Waivers 101 (2018 Update)

By Doyice Cotten

Where there are fitness, recreation, and sport activities, there are injuries! Unfortunately, where there are injuries, there are lawsuits! Providers of these activities must take care to manage risk in three ways.  First, the provider should institute a sound risk management program which includes an approach toward reducing the likelihood of injury as much as possible.  Secondly, they should purchase financial protection through liability insurance. Third, they should use an agreement by which the client agrees to relieve the provider of liability for participant injury – the document should include an assumption of risk (for inherent risks),

How Long does a Waiver Last?

  By Doyice Cotten

In a 2018 New Jersey waiver case (Weed v Sky N.J., LLC, 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 410), the primary issue revolved around the enforceability of an arbitration agreement included in the liability waiver. There were two important questions addressed. First, what is the duration of a waiver (and the arbitration agreement)? And second, who can sign a waiver on behalf of a minor.

Under New Jersey law, it is well established that parental waivers (a waiver signed on behalf of a minor by a parent or a legal guardian) are unenforceable.

The ABCs of Arbitration Agreements in Waivers of Liability  for Sport, Recreation, & Fitness Providers

 The sport, recreation, and fitness provider has long made use of liability waivers for protection from liability for provider negligence. There is a growing trend toward the inclusion of an arbitration agreement within the waiver; however, there is considerable controversy regarding the wisdom of this inclusion. Here, the authors address some of the pros and cons of the arbitration agreement that the provider and his or her counsel should consider in deciding the issue. It may well be that the choice will vary somewhat depending upon the nature of the business entity and the state in which the business is located.

WAIVERS FOR MINOR PARTICIPANTS: More States with Likely Enforcement of Commercial and Non-Profit Entities — Part VII

 

By Doyice Cotten

This is the seventh of an eight-part series on the enforceability of liability waivers of negligence when the sport or recreation participant is a minor.

Last week, three states were discussed in which the enforcement of parental waivers is very likely. Three more states are discussed in this post. Parental waivers are likely to be enforced in each.

Indiana

A 2012 state appellate court (Wabash County Young Men’s Christian Association v.