Tag Archives: scope of waiver

Illinois Waiver Law: The Importance of the Language that Defines the Scope of a Waiver

By Doyice J. Cotten

Patricia Cizek visited the North Wall Rock Climbing Gym to attempt some bouldering. She fell or dropped from the wall and landed with one foot on the mat and one off; she broke her ankle. It was her first day of bouldering. She sued alleging negligence as well as willful and wanton conduct (Cizek v. North Wall, Inc., 2018).

Even as a beginner, she understood that rock climbing involved being at a height higher than the ground.

Illinois Drag Racing Waiver Upheld for Negligence — But not for Strict Liability

By Doyice Cotten

David Jones, suffered permanent injuries in a drag-racing accident resulting from the failure of an added part during the performance of a wheelie. He filed this products liability action against UPR and numerous other entities alleged to have participated in the production or design of the Product, alleging negligence and strict liability (Jones v. UPR Products, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54887)

He had previously signed a Waiver of Liability Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement.

How Broad Should Your Waiver Be?

By Doyice Cotten

Can a waiver fail to protect the service provider because it is too broad in scope?  YES.  Can a waiver fail to protect the service provider because it is not broad enough in scope?  YES. Where does the provider or the waiver writer go from here? One might answer “Make it as broad as you can without making it too broad . . . but, be sure you cover everything.” That doesn’t help much, does it?

Unforced Errors: The Scope of the Waiver MUST be Clear!!!

Doyice J. Cotten

FACT: A well-written waiver willingly signed by an adult participant can protect the service provider from liability for the provider’s negligence in most states.

FACT: Many waivers fail because of what might be termed “unforced errors” on the part of the writer in making clear the scope of the waiver.

In this post, I am reporting several recent cases in which the waiver failed to protect the provider from negligence. The reader should be able to understand why the failure was preventable.

Illinois Waiver Law Considered in a Muscle Car Injury Case

By Doyice CottenIn  2012, Barbara Nesbitt (Nesbitt v. National Muscle Car Association, 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1848) sued National Muscle Car Association (NMCA), Promedia, National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Skinny Kid Race Cars, and Ted Peters  alleging multiple claims after her vehicle failed causing her serious injury. The first three defendants were sponsors of the race, Skinny Kid designed the race car, and Ted Peters, an employee of NHRA, had inspected the vehicle prior to the race.

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,