Tag Archives: parental waiver

Is an Arbitration clause in an unenforceable waiver enforceable in NJ?

By Doyice Cotten

In Hojnowski v. Vans Skate Park (2006), The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that parental waivers of liability (those signed by parents on behalf of their minor child) are not enforceable in New Jersey. In that same decision, it also ruled that parental arbitration agreements (those signed by parents on behalf of their minor child) are enforceable. The rationale in these decisions has been that a liability waiver, if enforced, takes away the rights of the minor for compensation for loss;

Utah Supreme Court Reaffirms: Parental Waivers Are Not Enforceable in Utah

 By Doyice Cotten

Levi Rutherford, a minor and a highly skilled skier, suffered a brain injury when he skied into a patch of thick, wet, machine-made snow and crashed at a ski resort d.b.a. The Canyons. His parents sued alleging negligence and premises liability (Rutherford v. Talisker Canyon Finance Co., LLC, 2019).  Defendants claimed the suit was barred by the waiver signed by Rutherford’s parents and by the Utah ski statute.

Of interest in this post is the Utah Supreme Court ruling as to whether parental waivers are enforceable in Utah.

Kentucky Supreme Court Rules Parental Waivers Relied Upon by Commercial Entities Are NOT Enforceable

By Doyice Cotten

 The Kentucky Supreme Court is the latest court to record an opinion regarding the enforcement parental waivers (a waiver signed by the parent of a child releasing the activity provider from liability for subsequent injury suffered by the child). In this case, the child E.M., the child of Kathy Miller was injured while participating at a trampoline park (IN RE: Kathy Miller v. House of Boom Kentucky, LLC, 2019).

The issue was whether a pre-injury liability waiver signed by a parent on behalf of a minor child is enforceable under Kentucky law.

How Long does a Waiver Last?

  By Doyice Cotten

In a 2018 New Jersey waiver case (Weed v Sky N.J., LLC, 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 410), the primary issue revolved around the enforceability of an arbitration agreement included in the liability waiver. There were two important questions addressed. First, what is the duration of a waiver (and the arbitration agreement)? And second, who can sign a waiver on behalf of a minor.

Under New Jersey law, it is well established that parental waivers (a waiver signed on behalf of a minor by a parent or a legal guardian) are unenforceable.

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.

WAIVERS FOR MINOR PARTICIPANTS: States with Likely Enforcement of Commercial and Non-Profit Entities — Part VI

By Doyice Cotten

This is the sixth of an eight-part series on the enforceability of liability waivers of negligence when the sport or recreation participant is a minor.

Three states will be discussed in this post. Courts in each state enforce parental waivers utilized by both commercial and  non-profit entities. In the seventh post next week, three more states will be addressed. Parental waivers are likely to be enforced in each.

California

California was the first state in which the courts enforced a parental waiver.

WAIVERS FOR MINOR PARTICIPANTS: Statutes Relating to Particular Activities — Part I

 

By Doyice Cotten

This is the first of an eight-part series on the enforceability of liability waivers of negligence when the sport or recreation participant is a minor.

 It is well-established that a liability waiver will protect sport, recreation, and fitness providers from liability for injury resulting from provider negligence in almost every state when the waiver is well-written, properly administered, and voluntarily signed by an adult participant. Many providers,

Delaware Court Enforces Motocross Parental Waiver for Negligence but Not for Recklessness

By Doyice Cotten

 

In 2013, Tommy Lynam (age 13), was riding a motocross bicycle at Blue Diamond Motocross near New Castle. While riding, Tommy rode off a jump, made a hard landing, and was unable to stop in time before colliding with a large metal shipping container. Lynam sued alleging negligence and recklessness (Lynam v. Blue Diamond Motocross LLC, 2016).

 

Lynam’s father had signed a waiver entitled “Parental Consent, Release and Waiver of Liability,

Florida Waiver Law for Minors

By Doyice Cotten

The Florida Supreme Court (Kirton v. Fields, 2008) has ruled that parental waivers designed to protect commercial entities from liability for negligence are not enforceable. Florida appellate courts, however, have enforced parental waivers when used by schools or recreational entities (Krathen v. School Board of Monroe Country, Fla., 2007; Gonzalez v. City of Coral Gables, 2004).

In 2013, the Florida Legislature passed F.S.

Parental Waiver Fails to Protect in Oklahoma

By Doyice Cotten

Makenzie Wethington, sixteen years-old, wanted to learn to skydive (Wethington v. Swainson, 2015). She and her parents, went to Pegasus Airsport Center to learn how. She and her parents signed a waiver of liability as part of the registration process. She underwent an instruction course that included determining the condition of the parachute after deployment, gaining control and resolving any deployment problems and, if necessary, activating her emergency parachute.