There are many activities today that require a participant to sign a liability waiver;
whether it is for a recreational sporting activity, such as water-tubing, skiing, or horseback riding, or for less dangerous activities, such as working out at the local gym. Despite the prevalence of liability waivers, many of them are quickly and carelessly drafted, requiring further analysis to assess their validity.
The attorneys at Wilcoxen Callaham, LLP, have had great success in defeating
liability waivers, using a variety of creative legal arguments. Some successful arguments
used by our attorneys include:
1. Any liability waiver which attempts to provide contractual exculpation for a
violation of the law is void pursuant to Civil Code section 1668.
2. Any liability waiver that attempts to include a release of liability for future gross
negligence is unenforceable. The California Supreme Court has held that “an
agreement made in the context of sports or recreational programs or services,
purporting to release liability for future gross negligence, generally is unenforceable
as a matter of public policy.” (City of Santa Barbara v. Superior Court, (2007) 41 Cal.
4th 747, 751.)
3. To be enforceable, a liability waiver must be clear and unambiguous with regards to
what exactly is being waived. Any liability waiver that includes an ambiguity
(meaning there is more than one reasonable interpretation) as to the scope of the
waiver may be found invalid and unenforceable.
If you find yourself in a position where you signed a liability waiver, yet were
injured through no fault of your own, your right to file a lawsuit is not automatically lost.
Our attorneys will examine the details of your case and scrutinize whether the liability
waiver is truly enforceable. Contact our office today at (916) 442-2777 for a free case