Pennsylvania Court Rules that Membership Contract Waiver Protects Against Negligence: No Reckless Conduct Found

By Doyice Cotten

 Cornelius Lister was injured when a fight occurred on the Fitness International basketball court (Lister v. Fitness International, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45954).  He alleged that at least four men attacked him and that at least one of the men was not a member of the club. He claimed that the club was negligent in failing to adhere to club policies that provided that non-members could not use the basketball court.

California Inflatable Rock-Climbing Wall Case Rules on Waiver

By Doyice Cotten

California waiver law was addressed in a recent inflatable rock climbing wall case (Vinson v. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3380). The case is summarized here, but much more can be learned about California waiver law by reading the entire case

Robert Vinson was a member of the Paramount “Studio Club.” To be a member of the Club, he was required to complete an application and pay a fee.

Court Makes Clear the Texas Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Note: This is a common negligence suit in which the defendant claims protection from a waiver of liability. Seldom do courts describe state waiver law so clearly.

Kimberly Ramirez , while a member of 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc, slipped and fell when she stepped into a puddle of water on the floor (Ramirez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69451).

Waivers NOT Containing the Word “Negligence” Fail in 3 Recent New York State Cases

By Doyice Cotten

Some waivers protect; others fail to protect. There are many reasons waivers fall short of providing the protection intended by the provider.  Some reasons include gross negligence involved, violation of statutory duty, unequal bargaining power, unconscionable contract, no opportunity to bargain, employer/employee relationships and many more. Most common, however, is that the language used in the waiver was ambiguous.  Courts in most states specify that to be enforced, the waivers must clearly and unambiguously describe the intent of the two parties.

Waiver Terminology (Part III): Why the Waiver is Important!

By Doyice Cotten

This is Part III of this series on waiver terminology. This part is intended to impress upon the sport and recreation professional the value of waivers of liability.

Why all the fuss about waivers of liability? The following California case (Padilla v. The Sports Club Company, 2008 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8150) illustrates very clearly why recreation and sports entities should use waivers.

Situation

Belinda Padilla was a member of The Sports Club Company,

News Flash: Parental Waiver Enforced in Delaware

By Doyice Cotten

Jahndee Hong and her husband joined an athletic club and signed a liability waiver. In addition to the names of her and her husband,  the membership listed the names of all three of their children. Subsequently, she left her child playing on the indoor playground equipment at the club. He fell from a piece of equipment and broke his arm.

She filed suit alleging negligence by the club.( Hong v. Hockessin Athletic Club,

A Change in Arkansas Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten and Mary Cotten

In Waivers & Releases of Liability 7th ed. (Cotten, D. and Cotten, M, 2010), Arkansas was classified as a Strict state when it comes to enforcing waivers.  A recent U.S. District Court ruling upholding the waiver in Kotcherquina v. Fitness Premier Management (2012) has caused a change in the Arkansas Strict classification. In the book, the Arkansas law is summed up by the following:

The Supreme Court stated that waivers are not invalid per se,

Waivers, Negligence per se, and Safety Statutes

By Doyice J. Cotten

In January of this year, we posted an article that dealt with waivers and negligence per se.  This article, which originally appeared in Fitness Management magazine, also relates to negligence per se.

Reoven Capri suffered injury when he slipped and fell on the pool deck while walking to the pool.  He returned to the pool the next day and found an accumulation of algae around the drain on the pool deck where he fell. 

Expert Witness Proves the Difference in Louisiana Case

This case discussion is provided by Dr. Leonard K. Lucenko, a sports and recreational premises risk management and safety expert. The case title is as follows: Clinton Schriber v. Jewish Community Center of New Orleans.

Case Facts:

In June 1997, plaintiff Clinton Schriber was participating in a recreational basketball league game at the gymnasium owned by the defendant.   The defendant had rented the gymnasium to a local recreational basketball league.  Each team paid an entry fee to participate in league games,