Liability Waivers and Releases: Still the Most Misunderstood Documents in the Horse Industry

Julie I. Fershtman, Attorney at Law gives accurate answers to some important questions about waivers.

Dear Readers:
A few years ago, a major equine magazine interviewed me on the topic of releases of liability (sometimes called “waivers”) that are used in equine-related activities. I have long said that liability waivers and releases are, in my opinion, the most misunderstood documents in the equine industry. To explain this further, I am re-printing a portion of my interview in this article.

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,

Why a Waiver May Fail – Public Policy

One of the most common reasons that a waiver fails when challenged in court is that it violates the public policy of the state. Often readers are puzzled by the term “public policy” and ask, “Just what is public policy?” This concept is quite broad and is not easily defined or explained.

Black’s Law Dictionary states that public policy is “… that general and well-settled public opinion relating to man’s plain, palpable duty to his fellowmen,

Liability Waivers 101

What is a waiver and how is it used? Do they work? Why do they fail? How do I write an effective waiver? Get the Answers! Liability waivers, contrary to misconceptions of providers in the past, can be effective in protecting providers from liability for injuries resulting from the negligence of the provider. Waivers are inexpensive to obtain, easy to administer and store, and can help protect providers from the consequences of their own mistakes.

Consulting

Need to know more? Need to know it fast? Sport Risk Consulting has many years experience with these topics, and is available to help…

Waiver Consulting:

We help parties develop or acquire waivers to protect them against liability for injuries caused by their own negligence. Some people have waivers copied from a book, borrowed from someone else, developed by themselves — and just want to be sure it will protect them if needed.  We are happy to look at your waiver,