Tag Archives: Massachusetts

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.

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,

Law Requires AEDs in Massachusetts Schools: What About Your State?

By Doyice Cotten

On January 13, 2017, the Governor of Massachusetts signed into law Bill S.2449 mandating automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in Massachusetts schools. The law provides that AEDs be in all public schools in the state and that at least one staff member be trained in its use. An AED also must be available for use at any school-sponsored athletic event.

This life saving action has been a long time in coming. The legislation was first introduced ten years ago,

Duration of Waivers: A 3 Part Series – Part 3

Part 3

By Doyice Cotten

In a Massachusetts case (Borges v. Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, Inc., 2000), Israel Borges, a trainer, sustained injuries when he slipped due to ice on the ground and fell while on property at the Suffolk Downs Track owned and controlled by the defendants.

The defendants moved for summary judgment because Borges’ claim was barred by a waiver executed in a stall application. The pertinent part of the waiver stated:

Suffolk Downs,

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,

Waiver and Indemnity Agreement Upheld for Ordinary Negligence in Massachusetts Triathlon Case

By Doyice Cotten

Richard Angelo died during the swimming portion of a triathlon organized by USA Triathlon (USAT). In spite of Richard having signed a waiver and indemnity agreement, his wife Cheryl filed suit alleging negligence, gross negligence, pain and suffering, and infliction of emotional distress (Angelo v. USA Triathlon, 2014). The waiver read:

  1. I hereby Release, Waive and Covenant Not to Sue, and further agree to Indemnify, Defend and Hold Harmless the following parties: USAT,

Waiver Should Specify What Action is Being Released!

By Doyice Cotten

A lot rides on a liability waiver; they often determine whether the provider wins or loses a negligence suit. It is important enough that the waiver creator should take care to make certain that the waiver clearly defines the intent of the document. The following two cases clearly illustrate the importance of clarity of language. Note the brevity of the exculpatory language in each case.

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In Hackett v.