Tag Archives: gross negligence

Drowning on a College Study Abroad Illustrates North Carolina Waiver Law

 

By Doyice Cotten

Ravi Thackurdeen drowned while swimming at a Costa Rican beach at the end of a college study abroad while enrolled at Duke University and the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). His parents sued both entities alleging wrongful death and negligence (including gross negligence) (Thackurdeen v. Duke Univ., 2018).

The students were taken on a “celebratory trip” to the beach on the last day of the trip.

Snow Tubing Case Helps to Clarify the Tough Maine Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

 Karrol Leadbetter went snow tubing at Family Fun Management, a Maine amusement center. She suffered an injury and sued the center alleging negligence, gross negligence, and recklessness (Leadbetter v. Family Fun Mgmt, 2018).

The snow tube course consists of a number of parallel snow-covered tracks divided by man-made berms of snow. At the bottom of the tracks is a common runout area with a man-made pile of snow, which acts as a retaining wall to slow snow tubers at the end of their runs.

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,

Risk Management Failures in Massachusetts YMCA Result in Death

By Doyice Cotten

Reminder: There is a new Fitness Law Academy Newsletter designed specifically for fitness professionals. It is written by Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek, a fitness industry authority. And the best news of all —  its FREE!.    Click here for your free subscription!   djc

The last post dealt with a risk management failure resulting in quadriplegia. This post also involves abysmal risk management – this time resulting in the death of a 62-year-old man (Miller v.

Michigan Court Explains Distinction between Negligence & Gross Negligence in Roller Derby Case

By Doyice Cotten

Elizabeth Dudros was injured when she struck a wall located only five feet from the roller derby track during a non-contact drill. She had to swerve to avoid a pile-up causing her to strike the wall (Budros v. Womens’ Flat Track Roller Derby Association, 2017 Mich. App. LEXIS 1525).

Budros had purchased WFTDA insurance before skating; the policy included a waiver of liability. The Traverse City Roller Derby (TCRD) athletic director showed Budros around the track prior to the drill.

Is the Word “Negligence” Required for Waivers in New York Courts?

By Doyice Cotten

In 2016, Michelle Kalinkina, a professional model agreed to have a public haircut and styling demonstration. During the haircut, the stylist cut Kalinkina’s neck causing physical injury and scarring. She subsequently sued for damages alleging negligence and gross negligence (Kalinkina v. Martino Cartier Enterprises, LLC, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95670).

Cartier provided a waiver signed by Kalinkina as a defense against the negligence claim. The waiver read:

I am providing modeling services for International Designs Corp.

University Study-Abroad Student Drowned in Costa Rica

By Doyice Cotten

Note: This is the third consecutive post (involving law in three states in three types of activity) in which assumption of risk has played a major role.

20-Year-old Erik Downes, college student at Oglethorpe University, drowned in the Pacific Ocean while he was in Costa Rica attending a study-abroad program. His parents brought a wrongful death suit against the university alleging negligence and gross negligence. Oglethorpe argued that 1) it owed no legal duty to Downes;

Assumption of Risk Determines Ruling in a Washington Tubing Case

By Doyice Cotten

This case has some similarities to the Swigart v. Bruno California case in last week’s post.  Each case was determined by an assumption of risk and not by a waiver of liability.

Pellham participated in an inner tube float in which his tube struck a fallen log in the water. The plaintiff sued the rental company claiming that the defendants owed him a duty to warn about a fallen log in the river and for gross negligence (Pellham v.

Check Your LIABILITY IQ: Was it Ordinary Negligence or Gross Negligence in Climbing Wall Case?

By Doyice Cotten

In a Michigan rock wall climbing injury case (Alvarez v. LTF Club Operations Company Inc., 2016), the plaintiff had climbed the wall and started to belay down when his harness broke because he had it on backwards and incorrectly hooked to the belay system. He fell from the wall and was seriously injured. Subsequently, he filed suit claiming the waiver of liability of ordinary negligence he signed was not applicable because LTF was guilty of gross negligence.

Massachusetts Skydiving Waiver Case Yields Some Interesting Results Regarding: Opportunity to Bargain, Unconscionability, & Strict Liability

By Doyice Cotten

Tricia Cahalane was seriously injured while performing a tandem skydiving activity. In the tandem skydive, she was attached to Marcus Silva, an employee, by a harness. During the skydive, Silva performed a “hook turn;”  Hook turns were allowed at that time, but have since been prohibited. When she landed, she broke the femur in each leg. Prior to the skydive, she signed a waiver releasing Skydive Cape Cod from liability for any injury incurred. She was given the opportunity to avoid signing the waiver for an additional fee of $750,