Tag Archives: writing a waiver

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.

First Things First when Writing a Waiver

By Doyice Cotten

Many people and businesses rely on waivers to protect against legal liability for injuries resulting from negligent acts by the business or its employees. Some of those relying think waivers will always protect; others, more realistically, realize that waivers can protect under some circumstances, but not under others. The waivers in the following three sport and recreation waiver cases failed to protect for, essentially, the same error. Look for the similarities and check your waiver for that mistake.

Good Waivers Fail; Bad Waivers Protect — SOMETIMES

By Doyice Cotten

In Waivers & Releases of Liability (7th ed.), this author devotes two entire chapters (More than 50 pages) to how to write an effective waiver. One can construct a great waiver by following the guidelines presented. However, waivers don’t always work as expected. In case law we find that some very poor waivers successfully protect the provider, and we find that on occasion, very good waivers fail to protect for one reason or another. In this article,