You’re enrolling your child in a new sport, and you and your son or daughter are both excited. You’ve purchased supplies for the activity, uniforms or other gear and paid instructional or lesson fees. Now, the organizer of the sport is asking you to sign a liability waiver barring injury claims if your child gets hurt. You question: Do liability waivers hold up in court in Florida?
Until 2012, these types of pre-injury liability waivers executed by parents on behalf of their minor children were invalid under Florida state law as against public policy, based on a 2008 Florida Supreme Court decision. Among the court’s reasons for the decision was the court’s belief that if activity providers can insulate themselves from liability with pre-accident waivers, they will have reduced incentive to take safety precautions. Under the court’s decision, a child whose parents signed liability waivers could win cases brought against the providers of hazardous activities under some circumstances, even after his or her parents signed a liability waiver. In 2012, the Florida legislature and Governor Scott changed the law, making liability waivers valid under certain circumstances.
Florida Statute 744.301 now states that parents and guardians are authorized to release commercial activity providers from any claim or action against them should a child suffer personal injury, death or property damage resulting from an inherent risk in the activity. The statute goes on to define inherent risk as dangers or conditions which are an integral part of the sport or activity that are not eliminated even if the activity provider uses care and acts in a reasonably prudent manner. Providers are not held liable for their failure to warn parents of an inherent risk in the activity they are providing. Providers are also not held liable if another child acts in a negligent manner that injures or causes death to your child. In order for these liability waivers to hold up in court in the state of Florida, they must include specific language in uppercase letters using a specific size of font.
Should you sign a liability waiver when enrolling your child to participate in a dangerous sport? Where does Statute 744.301 leave a parent after a child is injured participating in a perilous activity? Will the liability waiver you signed hold up in court? Situations vary, and you should contact a personal injury lawyer for more information before deciding which direction to take.
Was your child injured participating in a dangerous activity? Contact Glober Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.
Glober Law Firm is a Jacksonville personal injury law firm serving accident victims throughout the state of Florida. Glober Law Firm offers personalized attention from an experienced trial attorney with more than 28 years practicing law. Glober Law Firm offers representation in auto accidents, bicycle accidents, dog bites and attacks, head, brain and spinal cord injuries, motorcycle accidents, negligent hiring, negligent security, pedestrian accidents, physical assaults, premises liability, slip and fall accidents, truck accidents and wrongful death cases.