Tort Law

Waiver Doesn’t Protect Pool


The California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that liability waivers don’t protect recreation programs if they commit gross negligence.

The ruling was the first by the court to address whether recreation providers may protect themselves from suit, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The court ruled in the case of a 14-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who drowned in a pool during summer camp. The girl’s mother had signed a liability waiver.

“We hold that the agreement, to the extent it purports to release liability for future gross negligence, violates public policy and is unenforceable,” the opinion said.

The case is City of Santa Barbara v. Superior Court, No. 1111681 (PDF).

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