Adventure sports liability waivers

UPDATED: May 13, 2009

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Adventure sports liability waivers

Many adventure sport companies that offer kayaking, skiing, and skydiving have waivers so you, the client, acknowledges there are risks. Many of the ones I’ve seen also include clauses that say “I the client accept the responsibility, even if the service provider is negligent/careless”. Is that particular clause valid? How does the validity vary with state? I’m willing to assume risk of bad weather, but I rely on the company to maintain the equipment I’m renting and to provide important information about weather/water conditions.Thanks!

Asked on May 13, 2009 under Personal Injury, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

The validity of liability waivers varies greatly by state. In some states certain waivers are unenforceable by statute, in other states they are unenforceable as a matter of public policy, and in some states they are legal provided they are reasonable. It also depends on what the clause purports to do. For example, in state X a clause that exculpates a ski resort from simple negligence will be honored, but one that would exculpate the resort from liability for gross negligence or recklessness would not be. In state Y the law may authorize waivers of gross negligence as well. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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