Tag Archives: public policy

Tennessee Supreme Court Establishes New Standards for Waiver Enforcement

By Doyice Cotten

Courts in Tennessee have long held that waivers of liability for negligence are enforceable; in fact, waivers were not disfavored and the bar for enforcement was fairly low. Things may be changing because the Tennessee Supreme Court, in a non-sport case (Copeland v. HealthSouth/Methodist Rehab. Hosp., 2018), reiterated that the public policy in Tennessee has historically favored freedom of contract.  Nevertheless, the court made it emphatically clear that “not all exculpatory agreements should be enforceable,” and established new criteria for enforcement that are now in effect.

Waiver enforced under Maritime Law in Puerto Rico Jet ski Case

By Doyice Cotten

In the post last week, we looked at a waiver in a Puerto Rico jet ski case (Morgan v. Water Toy Shop, Inc., 2018). The Puerto Rican court examined the case in which the plaintiff was seriously injured in a collision with another party; the plaintiff sued the shop that rented the jet ski to the party who caused the accident. Since the incident occurred in navigable waters, the suit fell under maritime law.

Snow Tubing Case Helps to Clarify the Tough Maine Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

 Karrol Leadbetter went snow tubing at Family Fun Management, a Maine amusement center. She suffered an injury and sued the center alleging negligence, gross negligence, and recklessness (Leadbetter v. Family Fun Mgmt, 2018).

The snow tube course consists of a number of parallel snow-covered tracks divided by man-made berms of snow. At the bottom of the tracks is a common runout area with a man-made pile of snow, which acts as a retaining wall to slow snow tubers at the end of their runs.

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.

Two Health Club Cases Clarify Delaware Waiver Law

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

In 2016, the Delaware Supreme Court addressed a case in which a Planet Fitness health club member was injured when a cable broke on a seated rowing machine (Ketler v.

Admiralty Law Supports Liability Waiver in New Jersey Parasail Case

By Doyice Cotten

The Olmos and their two sons signed up for a parasailing trip. While on the boat traveling out of the inlet, Dina Olmo shifted her sitting position just as the boat hit a wave, lifting her into the air. When she landed she felt “a stabbing pain at the bottom of [her] back.”The boat immediately returned to the dock and she was taken to the hospital. The two sons remained to continue with their parasailing trip.

Oregon Supreme Court Rules on Enforceability of Liability Waivers

By Doyice Cotten

Author’s Note: It is rare that a court clearly defines and explains waiver law in a state. The Oregon Supreme Court made an effort to explain both the law and their reasoning; and, unlike many courts, explained the law in an understandable manner. The reader is urged to read the entire case. Much can be learned from the opinion.   From the opinion, it would seem that the Oregon Supreme Court is moving closer to the restrictive stances held by courts in Wisconsin,

NY Motocross Waiver Fails to Protect Because of GOL 5-326

By Doyice Cotten

Pablo Torres, an experienced motocross rider, signed a waiver, paid a fee to enter a race, participated in a motocross race, fell when his cycle was bumped from behind, and suffered an injury when he struck a hard object not far from the track.

Apparently, the management had put in a sprinkler system near the track, leaving an exposed PVC pipe. This was denied by management, but a witness said he saw it.

Surprising Ruling in New Jersey Case

By Doyice Cotten

James Walters joined a YMCA and signed a membership agreement containing a waiver. About three years later, he suffered injury when he slipped on a step while walking to the YMCA pool – allegedly because the slip resistant rubber on the stairs was worn off the bottom step. The trial court granted summary judgment ruling that the waiver language protected the club against liability for negligence (Walters v. YMCA,

Factors Affecting Waiver Law in the State of Washington (Part 2)

By Doyice Cotten

This case examines Washington waiver law, specifically as it relates to health clubs and fitness centers. Most of the concepts, however, apply to all waivers in the state. Two issues were raised last week and three more are addressed next week.

Part II

A recent Washington waiver case (DeAsis v. Young Men’s Christian Association of Yakima, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 2201) clearly explains Washington law regarding the enforcement of waivers used by health clubs.