Tag Archives: California

Risk Management Fiasco in Management of California Half Marathon

By Doyice Cotten

Hundreds of running-related events are held each year. They include 5k runs, mile runs, marathons, half marathons, and events that include other activities such as the triathlon. There is risk in all of these, but most promoters take care to manage the risk as well as possible.

In a huge  half marathon/5K run in California involving about 10,000 participants, a runner collapsed seconds after completion of the half marathon and died a few minutes later (Hass v.

Importance of Listing all Protected Parties in Your Waiver

By Doyice Cotten

Bradford Jones and his son, Forbes, rented jet skis from The Barge, LLC, owned by David Hubert. As they began riding, Bradford was injured when he turned suddenly and stopped in front of the inexperienced boy’s jet ski.  They collided, Jones was injured, and they subsequently sued The Barge, LLC, and Hubert.

Hubert had bought the business in 2006 and became the sole owner when he bought out his partner and renamed the business The Barge Watercraft Rentals.

Bicycle Racer Killed in Collision with Support Vehicle Parked in the Traffic Lane

By Doyice Cotten

Suzanne Rivera competed in a bicycling race organized by Velo Promo, LLC and USA Cycling, Inc. During the race, she struck a support van  parked in the lane of the road designated for the cyclists on a downhill, curved section of the course. She was killed. The heirs sued defendants Velo Promo, USA Cycling and Richard Ciccarelli (the driver of the support van) alleging negligence (and gross negligence).(Rivera v. Velo Promo,

Hot Air Balloons: Is a Balloon a Common Carrier in California?

 

By Doyice Cotten

The issue as to whether an activity or mode of transportation is a common carrier can determine the duty owed to passengers. A recent California case (Grotheer v. Escape Adventures, Inc., 2017), addressed the issue of whether a hot air balloon is a common carrier. The court defined a common carrier of persons as anyone “who offers to the public to carry persons.” (Civ. Code, § 2168.)

The duty that a common carrier owes to its clientele depends upon whether the ride is gratuitous or if there is a fee charged.

Adhesionary Contracts or Unconscionable Contracts: Are They Enforceable?

By Doyice Cotten

A recent New York waiver case (Lobell v. Youtube, LLC and Google, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127327) involved the allegation that a waiver was not enforceable because it was both an adhesionary contract and an unconscionable contract. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York examined the issue in light of California law (as called for by the provisions of the contract).

Adhesionary Contract

The court defined an adhesionary contract as “a standardized contract,

A Waiver is not Always Necessary! Primary Assumption of Risk

By Doyice Cotten

Kathleen Swigart entered a long distance horse riding event conducted by the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), a national governing and record-keeping body for “long distance horse riding.” An endurance ride is  “a highly competitive and demanding sport” in which the riders follow a specific course, collecting playing cards at set checkpoints along the route to verify having completed the entire course before crossing the finish line.

At the eight-mile checkpoint, seven horses were close together in a single line.

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,

Woman Held to Waiver Signed by Husband in California Health Club Case

By Doyice Cotten

Sheila Brown joined 24 Hour on February 27, 2001, signing the 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. membership agreement containing a liability waiver.  She terminated her membership several months later; then, after a few months her son renewed her membership through his corporate membership. Her husband signed the club waiver on her behalf.

Two years later, Sheila tripped over a dumbbell that had been left on the floor and suffered injury. She filed suit against 24 Hour and claimed the waiver was unenforceable because she had not signed the waiver.

Waiver Protects Program for Youth with Disabilities for Liability for Negligence

By Doyice Cotten

Robert Rogers, an autistic child, participated in a program for youth with disabilities offered by Ability First. Robert’s grandmother (with authority from the mother) approved his participation in local neighborhood excursions and signed a waiver of liability releasing Ability from liability.

On the day of the incident, Ability took Robert on a “walking field trip” to a nearby Target store.

While walking back to Ability’s facility, Robert broke into a foot race with other Ability attendees to reach a gate in a chain link fence at an entrance to Ability’s grounds.

Group Waivers and the Risk of Fraud

By Doyice Cotten

Scott Storer was injured while riding his motorcycle on a motocross track  (Storer v. E Street MX, Inc., 2015 Cal App. Unpub. LEXIS 4029). Prior to beginning his ride, Scott was handed a clipboard and asked to sign his name.

He said the only thing on the clipboard that he could see were names of other riders that signed in. He explained there was one folded sheet of paper with signature lines at the top of the clipboard,