Risk Management Breaches Result in Tragedy

 By Doyice Cotten

This post is a little different from my usual post – not so much about the results of a waiver case as about provider responsibility. I hope this post impresses upon providers of sport, recreation, and fitness activities the idea that having a waiver might reduce the financial risk of the organization, but does not relieve the provider of the responsibility to make every effort to protect the participant against unnecessary risk of injury.

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.

Football Drill Death Illustrates the Need for Better Risk Management

By Doyice Cotten

Mileto and dozens of other players were taking part in a summer football camp on school grounds that was run by the Sachem East coaches and funded by a boosters group, the Sachem East Touchdown Club.

The teen and four teammates were carrying a 10-foot, 400-pound log over their heads as part of a training drill. Dankner said – for the first time publicly – that the boys were also competing in a relay race at the time.

Getting Fit Fast?  . . . CAUTION: RHABDOMYOLYSIS ALERT

By Doyice Cotten

What is Rhabdomyolysis? Regular readers of SportWaiver.com will know that this is a disease that can result from extreme exercise. The ailment is often found in sedentary adults who attempt to “get in shape” overnight. However, the disease is also found sometimes in more active and younger individuals.

There have been a number of cases in recent years in which college athletes have been afflicted. Courtney Cameron in a recent AthleticBusiness.com post cites a number of cases resulting from indoor cycling and spinning classes.

Evaluation of a Liability Waiver by a California Appellate Court

By Doyice Cotten

Quite often I get a request by a service provider to take a look at their waiver and tell them if I think it is adequate. So I thought many readers might like to see how a court looks at a waiver to determine if it is enforceable. A California case involved an incident at a trampoline facility; the court discussed why the waiver was valid and enforceable (Torres v. House of Air,

Electronic or Online Waivers: How Good Are They?

 

By Doyice Cotten

 The preferred form of waiver usage in recreation and sport businesses is quickly becoming electronic (waiver available on a computer, tablet, or online). I am asked whether electronic waivers are as valid and effective as paper waivers.  Today, such waivers are in widespread use and there is no question as to their validity. This writer has found no cases in which a waiver has failed simply because it was not a paper waiver.

You Be the Judge – Test your Liability Knowledge

By Doyice Cotten

Occasionally, we offer the reader an opportunity to test his or her liability judgment. Take a few minutes and check this waiver and see if you think it protected the defendant health club from liability for negligence (Hoffner v. Fitness Xpress, 2016).

Situation

Charlotte Hoffner had been a member of Fitness Xpress, a health club in Michigan, for about two weeks when she slipped and fell on ice on the sidewalk in front of the club.

Bad Judgment by Personal Trainer Causes Lawsuit

By Doyice Cotten

Many things can cause accidents in a health club – and a negligence suit is sometimes the result. Causes include equipment failure, slick floor surface, inattention of the personal trainer, carelessness by the client, and many more. In the case addressed here, the cause was largely due to the faulty judgment of the personal trainer. The following describes the events leading up to the injury of Patricia Evans in a Pennsylvania health club:

On November 12,

Two Waiver Tips from a Pennsylvania Court

By Doyice Cotten

In a 2016 Pennsylvania health club case (Hinkal v. Gavin Pardoe & Gold’s Gym, Inc., 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 32), the Superior Court upheld a lower court ruling that the waiver in the gym membership agreement was valid and enforceable.

The issues considered in the appeal were:

  1. Whether the six day trial period had expired prior to the injury.
  2. Whether the waiver on the back page of the Membership Agreement is valid and enforceable.