Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Waiver Not Against Public Policy in Pennsylvania Health Club Slip & Fall Incident

By Doyice Cotten

Dolores Vinson, a member of LA Fitness, slipped and fell when she stepped on a wet mat. She sued the club for negligence in their maintenance (Vinson v. Fitness & Sports Clubs, LLC, 2018). The club claimed protection based on a liability waiver in the membership agreement. The trial court granted the LA Fitness motion for summary judgment.

Pennsylvania Law

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has named three conditions that must be met for a waiver to be enforceable.

Can One Spouse Sign the Waiver for the Other Spouse?

By Doyice Cotten

Often both a husband and a wife attend a sport, recreation, or fitness facility to participate. The business has a requirement that everyone signs a waiver before participating. Is there a problem if one of the couple signs his or her own waiver and then signs the waiver of the spouse?

In the 2017 case, Burns v. Parks (2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4043), Joseph and Dawn Burns entered Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park to participate.

Wife Signs Waiver for Husband – Is it Enforceable?

By Doyice Cotten

Families often visit recreational facilities and are required to sign waivers of liability in order to participate. Sometimes the father signs on behalf of the wife; sometimes the wife signs on behalf of the husband. The question is “Are these waivers enforceable against the non-signer. Most businesses require the signature of both – which is the obviously best policy. But, if for some reason one signs the other spouse’s name on the waiver, is that waiver enforceable?

Duration of Waivers: A 3 Part Series – Part 2

Part 2

By Doyice Cotten

Nicholas Weinrish was injured while operating a go-kart on the defendant’s track (Weinrich V. Lehigh Valley Grand Prix Inc.,  2015). A piece of plastic covering a guardrail broke and protruded toward the track; plaintiff suffered an injury to his leg when he struck the plastic.

Weinrich had patronized the establishment six months earlier and had signed a waiver of liability at that time.

Provider’s Cavalier Attitude toward Safety and Risk Management Proves Costly

By Doyice Cotten  

Two major problems with liability waivers are that they are sometimes misunderstood and misused by owners or managers of sport businesses. First, some sport managers think that a liability waiver provides total protection against lawsuits for injury. They think they are completely protected against loss. But waivers do not always work! Sometimes there are statutes prohibiting their use (e.g., G.O.L 5-326 in NY prohibiting waivers when there is an entry fee). Sometimes the waiver is poorly written (e.g.,

Understanding Pennsylvania Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Evans v. Fitness & Sports Club, LLC., 2016). This week we will look at Pennsylvania law and the ruling in the previous case. To review the facts:

On November 12, 2014, Patricia Evans was participating in a personal training session at LA Fitness with personal trainer Brandon McElwee. During the session, McElwee directed Evans to perform “suicide runs,” an activity that required Evans to repeatedly run forward to a weight and touch it and then run backward to the start line.

Upper Case Print and Waiver Readability

By Doyice Cotten

The term “meeting of the minds” is often used in regard to contracts. This is often used to describe the mutual intentions of the parties forming the contract and is often considered a necessary requirement to the formation of a contract.  Many things can go into ensuring a “meeting of the minds,” one of which is to have an understandable and readable contract.

Many things can contribute to such a contract. Contributing factors often listed include use of subheads,

Two Waiver Tips from a Pennsylvania Court

By Doyice Cotten

In a 2016 Pennsylvania health club case (Hinkal v. Gavin Pardoe & Gold’s Gym, Inc., 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 32), the Superior Court upheld a lower court ruling that the waiver in the gym membership agreement was valid and enforceable.

The issues considered in the appeal were:

  1. Whether the six day trial period had expired prior to the injury.
  2. Whether the waiver on the back page of the Membership Agreement is valid and enforceable.

Make Certain your Waiver Protects You against Your own Negligence!

By Doyice Cotten

Roseann Jablanofsky died in an accident while taking a motorcycle safety training program. She wanted to be able to accompany her husband on motorcycle rides.

Prior to the course, she signed a waiver of liability; the course included classroom instruction and riding practice in a parking lot. In addition, the class was shown a video that warned of the risks associated with operating a motorcycle, and all participants were verbally warned.

At one point during the riding class,

When an Adult Participant Signs a Waiver Written for Minors — Is the Waiver Enforceable?

By Doyice Cotten

In this case (Belliconish v. Fun Slides Carpet Skate Park, Inc., 2014 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 349), Mr. Belliconish took his family to an indoor skate park. He signed waivers on behalf of himself and his family. Fun Slides uses two waivers – one for adult participants and one for minor participants. Belliconish was inadvertently given a minor waiver which he signed.

After about an hour of skating, Belliconish fell,