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.

Waiver Terms and Definitions

Even experienced professionals in recreation, fitness, and sport often misunderstand or confuse some of the terms used. Below are some terms and their definitions that will help you better understand some of the documents that help to protect from liability.

Club Liability Regarding Childcare Programs

By Doyice Cotten

Health clubs and other sport-, recreation-, and fitness-related businesses or organizations often provide child care programs for pre-school or older children in order to better accommodate the parent. They often require the parent to sign a liability waiver. Of course, such parental waivers are not enforceable in many states; in fact, they are commonly enforced in only about 15 states.

Management should consult their local attorney for two reasons: first, to learn if parental waivers are enforceable in that state,

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.

Massachusetts Indemnity Clause Enforced in Ultimate Frisbee Case

By Doyice Cotten

Liability waivers often include an assumption of risk, a waiver of liability for negligence, and an indemnification agreement. The purpose of the waiver of liability is to protect the provider from liability in the event of participant injury. In spite of the presence of a signed waiver, suit is often filed by the injured party or by others on his or her behalf.

The object of the indemnification agreement is for the provider to be able to recoup any loss resulting from such a legal action – the loss may include a monetary judgment,

HOW TO PUT TEETH IN YOUR VACATION RENTAL AGREEMENT

By William W. Ballinger
       Attorney at Law

What does your current vacation rental agreement look like?  Is it a lease agreement, or one that has been pasted together from various online sources? If so, you are putting yourself and your property at risk.

INTRODUCTION

The short-term vacation rental business is growing by leaps and bounds. The industry has expanded to include not only professional vacation managers, but private homeowners who recognize the benefits of renting out their second homes or rooms in their residences to create additional income for themselves.

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.

Risk Management: Plan Ahead

By Doyice Cotten

I attended a rodeo in Georgia recently and witnessed an event that had considerable potential for injury. The event was called the Calf Scramble. The event consists of a large number of children who upon a signal chase a calf around the arena while attempting to pull a tag off his tail. Any children ages 8 or 9 years old were allowed to compete; then children 10-11 years old were allowed.

Recognizing the possibility of injury and liability,

Programmatic & Financial Risks

By Doyice J. Cotten
This article first appeared in the January, 2007, issue of Fitness Management under the title “What Risk Management Means.”

It is time to take a broader look at the term “risk management.” It is a term everyone uses, but is misused, both in practice and in print. Here are some thoughts I would like to share with you.

Too often, owners and managers of fitness centers consider risk management to be an “advanced safety”