Tag Archives: parental waiver

First Parental Waiver Enforced in North Carolina

By Doyice Cotten

In Kelly v. United States of America (2014), the first parental waiver was enforced in North Carolina by a U.S. District Court. Morgan Kelly, a 15-year-old girl, was a cadet in the JROTC program at her high school. She attended a JROTC orientation visit to a United States Marine Corps Base after one of her parents signed a waiver of liability on her behalf. She was injured and this suit was filed.

Parental Equine Waivers Are Enforceable in Utah

By Doyice Cotten

Utah law regarding the enforcement of parental waivers has been clearly established since the Hawkins v. Peart Utah Supreme Court decision in 2001. The Court ruled that it was against public policy for a parent to release the prospective negligence claim prior to or after an injury.

In a 2013 case (Penunuri v. Sundance Partners, LTD), however, the Utah Supreme Court examined the Utah Equine Statute passed in 2003.

Mississippi Parental Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Many businesses and organizations, like Mississippi State University, require parents to sign a liability waiver on behalf of their minor child or children. However, Mississippi law on the enforceability of such waivers is unclear.

The Mississippi Supreme Court stated in Khoury v. Saik (1948) that “It is well settled that the infant can waive none of his rights.”  It went on to say “Minors can waive nothing. In the law they are helpless,

A Look at Mississippi Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Mississippi waiver law is not crystal clear in spite of several Supreme Court of Mississippi rulings. Some major considerations are addressed in the following.

Quinn v. Mississippi State University (1998)

An important liability waiver case addressed by the Mississippi Supreme Court (Quinn v. Mississippi State University, 1998) involved a 12-year-old baseball player at a summer baseball camp. The father and the boy signed a pre-printed liability waiver.

Oregon Addresses a Parental Waiver for the First Time

By Doyice Cotten

Prior to this case, Oregon was one of about 20 states in which the courts had not ruled on the enforceability of parental waivers in a recreational setting. In Bagley v. Mt. Bachelor, Inc. (2013), Myles Bagley’s father signed a waiver and indemnity agreement on behalf of his son so that the 17 year-old, an expert snowboarder, could purchase a season pass to Mt. Bachelor. The waiver was signed two weeks before Myles’ 18th birthday.

Connecticut, California, and North Dakota Courts Address Parental Waivers

By Doyice Cotten

Recent 2013 cases in Connecticut, California, and North Dakota have addressed the question as to whether parents have the authority to sign away the rights of a minor to recover for injury resulting from the negligence of the provider.

California Case

Lotz v. The Claremont Club (2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5748) involved a 10 year-old who was injured in a dodgeball game. It is well established that California law allows the enforcement of parental waivers provided the waiver is unambiguous and meets court requirements.

Colorado Parental Waiver Statute Applied by Courts

By Doyice Cotten

In 2003, the Colorado legislature passed a statute providing that parents have the authority to contract, on behalf of their child, to relieve a provider from liability for its negligence in the event the child is injured during participation (C.R.S. 13-27-107 (2003). Among other things the statute provides

(IV) Parents make conscious choices every day on behalf of their children concerning the risks and benefits of participation in activities that may involve risk;

State Waiver Laws Differ: An Illustration

By Doyice Cotten

Just this week I was told by a health club employee that “Waivers are not worth the paper they are written on.” I had not heard that bit of erroneous information in some time; most sport, recreation, and fitness professionals today have at least a general idea that waivers can be effective in protecting an enterprise from liability for injuries.

The fact is that in at least 45 states, a well-written waiver signed by a assenting adult can effectively protect an activity provider from liability for injuries resulting from the ordinary negligence of the activity provider.