Tag Archives: New York

Niagara Jet Boat Patron Challenges Waiver on Negligence, Violation of a Safety Statute, Breaching a Condition of a Contract, and Gross Negligence

By Doyice Cotten

Scott and Sarah Witkowski and their son rode a Niagara Jet Adventures(referred to as Niagara) jet boat after having signed a waiver of liability. The boat hit a large wave throwing Scott and the son into Sarah causing injury.  The Witkowskis sued Niagara alleging negligence and gross negligence. They also alleged negligence per se claiming Niagara violated a safety statute (This was not properly pled and was dismissed.)

The Waiver

Pertinent parts of the waiver read:

“In consideration of participating in whitewater,

Court in New York Ski Case Rules that Parental Waivers Allowing Minors to Ski are Valid & Enforceable

By Doyice Cotten

Bryan DiFrancesco’s son was injured while on a ski lift with a ski instructor employed by the defendant Win-Sum Ski Corp [DBA Holiday Valley, Inc.]. The uncle of the boy had signed a waiver of liability and assumption of inherent risks so that the 5 year-old could ski. The boy fell from the lift and sustained severe injuries. The father subsequently filed a suit in federal court against the ski resort on behalf of the boy (DiFrancesco v.

CPR and AED Trained Athletic Trainers Save Two Collapsed Athletes

By Doyice Cotten

Are you prepared for an emergency at your sport, recreation or fitness facility? If a participant collapses during a workout and has no heartbeat, does someone at your facility know what to do? Do you have personnel trained in CPR? Do you have an AED on hand? And someone who in trained to use it? These are all important questions for management at sport, recreation, and fitness facilities. None of us want to stand by and watch someone die who could have been saved!

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,

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.

Poorly Written New York Church Waiver Fails

By Doyice Cotten

Panagiota Melis, a member of the Helenic Orthodox Church, slipped and fell on snow and ice in the Church’s parking lot after parking her vehicle. She filed suit against the church alleging negligence (Melis v. Helenic Orthodox Community, 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 981).

The church claimed protection from a waiver and assumption of risk document signed previously by the plaintiff. The court ruled that General Obligations Law (“GOL”) 5-326 did not apply and did not serve to prevent the enforcement of the waiver because the church was not a place of amusement or recreation.

Waivers and Volunteer Workers

By Doyice Cotten

Certain types of special relationships can affect the enforceability of liability waivers. One such relationship is that between an employer and an employee – often referred to as the master-servant relationship.  Generally, waivers which employers require that their employees sign are unenforceable because of the economic hold that the employer has over the employee. Such waivers are generally deemed to be in violation of public policy.

In contrast, waivers between an employer and a volunteer worker are generally enforced.

A Good Approach to Electronic Waivers in New York State

By Doyice Cotten

This electronic waiver case was discussed briefly a couple of weeks ago. Here it is examined in more detail.

A frequent question is “Are electronic waivers as good as paper waivers?” or “Are electronic waivers enforceable?” The answer seems to be “yes” for both questions. The writer has read electronic waivers in several states and has yet to find one that fails because it is electronic; in fact,

Test Yourself: Analyze this Waiver Case and Predict Whether the Waiver Protects

By Doyice Cotten

Plaintiff Asabi L. Barner Jackson (Jackson), who lives in South Carolina, chose to have Black Ink apply a tattoo, based upon a reality TV series in which Black Ink allegedly represented itself to specialize and be experts in tattooing African American skin (Jackson v. Black Ink Tattoo Studio, Inc., 2016).

Jackson claims that she has permanent injury to her left breast. She says there is “deep tissue damage and a very large,

NY Tattoo Parlor Waiver and Informed Consent Ruling

By Doyice Cotten

Asabi Jackson, a black woman, claimed injury resulting from a tattoo administered by Black Ink Tattoo Studio.  Prior to receiving the tattoo, she signed a waiver, but claims she was not given a copy and that no one signed as a witness;  she further claimed  that she “was never informed that she was accepting the risks of an inexperienced and careless employee, nor did she understand that she was waiving any right to sue defendants in the event that they were negligent,