Tag Archives: waiver

Legal Technicality Causes New York Acrobatics Instructional Waiver to Fail to Protect

By Doyice Cotten

Shana Guins, a 32 years-old woman who stood 5′ 3″ in height and weighed 180 pounds, was injured  and rendered a quadriplegic during an acrobatics class. She was asked to bounce on a mini-trampoline and land with a forward roll. She had been given instruction and had previously performed the task successfully.

Defendant pointed out that she made statements to the medical staff after the accident that she was tired after a previous class and after a night of hard drinking.

What if a Minor Lies about His Age? Is the Waiver enforceable?

By Doyice Cotten

Service providers often ask “Is my waiver still enforceable if a minor lies about his age and signs the waiver?” The answer probably varies considerably depending upon where the incident happens. Remember, waiver law is state law and the law is not the same everywhere. A recent Georgia court provided some evidence regarding the answer to this question – at least for service providers in Georgia.

Adventure Air Sports Kennesaw, LLC (AASK) requires that all participants sign a waiver of liability and minor participants must have his or her parents sign the waiver.

Riding a Mechanical Bull after much “Socializing” Might Not be the Best Idea!

Doyice Cotten

Joseph Kuchta, while socializing with friends at Gilley’s Nightclub in Sparks, Nevada, observed the operation of a mechanical bull. He expressed interest in a gentle ride like the ones he had observed, termed a 2 out of a possible 10 in roughness. The employee demonstrated how easy a slow ride was and Kuchta agreed to do it. He was required to sign a liability waiver which stated the potential risks and possible injuries involved in riding the bull,

Waiver Protects Cheerleader Organization from Liability for Negligence in Georgia

By Doyice Cotten

Kimberly and James Shields sued RDM, LLC d/b/a Georgia All Stars (GA) for negligence when Kimberly tripped and fell from  mats on the floor at an exhibition of participants’ routines for parents to view in the practice area of the gym. Their daughter was a participant in Special Twist (a “special needs all star cheer and dance team.”)  Special Twist is not part of the Georgia All Stars facility or teams, but is instead an independent 501 (3) (c) organization that was invited to participate in the exhibition on the night in question.

Is an Arbitration Clause in a Waiver a Possible Answer to Liability in Connecticut?

By Doyice Cotten

The plaintiff, Rita Lorentz, voluntarily signed a waiver of liability (containing an arbitration clause) when she took her children to a Sky Zone trampoline park. While there, she went to the restroom, slipped in a puddle, fell suffering injury, and subsequently sued the company, HJ & Edward Enterprises, LLC d/b/a Sky Zone (Lorentz v. HJ & Edwards Enterprises, LLC., 2020.

The agreement called for binding arbitration before an arbitrator;

Nevada Supreme Court Rules on Waiver in a Gym Membership Agreement

By Doyice Cotten

Nathan Waldschmidt was injured while using the Edge Fitness facilities and filed suit challenging the waiver he had signed previously. He claimed the waiver was ambiguous.  In 2018 the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that the waiver signed by the plaintiff was enforceable (Waldschmidt v. Edge Fitness, LLC, 2018). [Neither details of the incident nor the complete waiver was reported.]

The Nevada Supreme Court upheld the summary judgment of the lower court stating that the waiver located in the gym membership contract was unambiguous.   

The #1 Thing to Check in Your Waiver!

By Doyice Cotten

Contrary to some opinions, All Waivers Are Not Born Equal. Waivers range in length from one sentence to several pages. Some are written specifically for one particular business while others are generic and intended to be used in many situations. Some are written in legalese; others written in plain language. And some provide more types of protection than others.

While waivers may vary in length, specificity, and verbiage, one of the most important determinants of whether the waiver will protect the activity provider is one or two sentences comprising what is called the exculpatory language.

Do Waivers Protect when the Injured Party has a Disability?

By Doyice Cotten

Sometimes activity providers are reluctant to offer activities to participants with disabilities because they fear possible injury and have doubt as to whether their liability waiver would be enforceable against a person with a disability. The following is a case that is more than 20 years old, but that accurately illustrates that there is no “special waiver law” for the disabled.

Franklin Potter, a skilled and experienced handicapped skier, was injured in the National Handicapped Downhill Championships race.

Personal Trainer and Health Club in Illinois Survive a Claim of performing a Chiropractic Procedure

By Doyice Cotten

Gabriella Sosa-Gaines filed a negligence action against Capital Fitness and her personal trainer, Don Myles claiming injuries caused when the trainer pressed down in the area of her spine to relieve her discomfort during a training session (Sosa-Gaines v. Capital Fitness, Inc., 2019). She alleged the action was  a negligent “chiropractive type of adjustment maneuver.”

She had previously signed a membership agreement and a personal training agreement, each of which contained a waiver of liability. 

Universities Requiring Football Players to Sign “Waiver-Type” Documents

By Doyice Cotten

A number of schools are requiring football players (and sometimes their parents) to sign an agreement relating to COVID-19. Some agreements are primarily a warning of the risk, but others seem intended to waive the liability of the university should the player contract the disease.

Ohio State University

ESPN announced that Ohio State University players and their parents were asked to sign a “Buckeye Pledge” by which they acknowledged the risk of COVID-19 and agreed to testing,