Settling Disputes without Going to Court – Mediation & Arbitration

By Doyice J. Cotten

An agreement to mediate and/or arbitrate any grievance against a provider can be included in the membership agreement or the liability waiver. The following language is one example of language that can be used in the agreement. Another version of this article was published earlier by Fitness Management magazine.

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If there is any dispute over $500 between you and California Fitness, both parties agree to submit it to binding arbitration,

Do Industry Standards Increase Our Liability?

Readers will find that this is one of the best pieces to be found relating to industry standards and liability. Our thanks go to author “Reb” Gregg and to Steve Smith who originally published the article in Touchstones – News and Resources for Outdoor Programs for permission to run the article in SportWaiver.com. Touchstones is a publication of Experiental Consulting which focuses on risk management, staff training, and human resources for outdoor programs and is edited by Steve Smith.

Foot Loose: Legal Liability Issues Relating to Barefoot Exercise

Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton
Sports, Fitness & Recreational Team Leader
Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Christopher McDougall’s bestselling book Born to Run, and the extensive discussion therein regarding the reported benefits of barefoot running, have helped to ignite a new exercise trend (craze?). Fitness center owners are being asked if members can exercise barefoot, or are just seeing members working out barefoot in areas of the facility where, until recently, no one wanted to do so.

Someone was Injured! Am I Liable?

This article by Doyice Cotten originally appeared in Fitness Management.  Sport, fitness, and recreation professionals often describe a situation involving an injury and ask if they are liable.  This article will help others to quickly determine if he or she might be liable in an injury situation.

Robert Craig, a 75-year-old client, was injured when the “dip station” on which he was exercising tipped over.  When Craig and the station fell backward,

Fla. Statute: Parents Can Waive Inherent Risks

May 22, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ —

In 2008, the Florida Supreme Court held that parents who sign liability waivers allowing their children to participate in risky adventure activities are endangering their children’s property and estate, and therefore not acting in their children’s best interest.  As the court noted, child liability waivers protect businesses at the expense of children, which hardly seems a reasonable balancing of interests.

Accordingly, the Florida Supreme Court held that in the absence of a statute clearly permitting child liability waivers,

Alert to Non-Profit Organizations!

The following article by Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton sounds an alarm to many non-profit organizations including those related to sport and recreation. Many are not aware of the new regulation requiring an annual filing by all non-profit organizations. Failure to comply will prove costly.  Go to http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0%2C%2Cid=225889%2C00.html to find out if yours is in jeopardy.

Many Non-Profit Sports Organizations in Danger of Losing Tax-Exempt Status

By Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton

According to the Internal Revenue Service,

Michigan Supreme Court Holds Releases Signed by Parents Are Unenforceable

This article by Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton sums up some key issues involved in the recent Woodman v. Kera (2010) case in which the Michigan Supreme Court held parental waivers to be unenforceable. A five-year-old was injured in an inflatable bounce area at a birthday party. Mr. Pendleton is with Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C. in Milwaukee.

The Michigan Supreme Court on June 18, 2010 issued its long-awaited decision in Woodman v.

Using a Form Contract? Watch Your State Laws

This article was written by Julie I. Fershtman, Attorney at Law (www.equinelaw.net). She offers expert comment on a timely question regarding liability waivers.

Dear Ms. Fershtman:

My friend gave me some form liability releases and boarding contracts. Will they hold up?

– K.B. (No state specified)

My office receives inquiries like this often. Since many people in the horse industry still buy, sell, board, train, lease, or breed horses with nothing in writing,

Indemnification Tips

This was written by Charles “Reb” Gregg in September, 2006. Mr. Gregg provides some invaluable information regarding indemnification agreements. Mr. Gregg is a practicing attorney in Houston, Texas specializing in adventure law and may be reached at 800 Bering Drive, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77057.

An indemnification is an agreement between two parties that addresses the possibility of a claim against one of them by a third party.

The party granting the indemnity (the “indemnitor”) promises the person indemnified (the “indemnitee”) that it,

Failure to Name Party Costly

Waivers and releases of liability can fail to protect for many reasons. Releases in three 2009 cases failed to protect because the waiver did not name the protected parties either by name or by function. These three cases can give sport, recreation, and fitness providers some guidance in writing a waiver or in evaluating a waiver currently in use.

Porter v. Dartmouth College

In Porter v. Dartmouth College (2009 U.S. Dist.