Is it possible to sign one’s right to sue away?

UPDATED: Feb 4, 2014

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Is it possible to sign one’s right to sue away?

I am a musician. A restaurant venue, open to the public, is now requiring musicians (as subcontractors)to sign a waiver holding the venue harmless in case of liability even though that liability may rise out of the negligence or carelessness of the venue. If I sign this waiver,do I still have recourse should I be injured?

Asked on February 4, 2014 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is possible to sign away your right to sue, and it is actually fairly common for a business to require contractors, vendors, freelancers, etc. to do this. If you were injured due to an intentional bad act of the restaurant or its employees, or due to their gross negligence (recklessness; much more than "just" carelessness--the proverbial shooting a gun at random in a crowded room, or playing with matches while pumping gas), you'd typically still be able  to sue (a person or business can't protect him/her/itself from gross negligence or intentional acts in this manner), but you could agree to not sue over normal negligence/carelessness, and if you did, that agreement would be binding.

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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