There are many activities you can take part in at various NYC businesses that will require you to sign a liability waiver. You often find them in activity businesses such as rock climbing or trampoline jumping. You might find them at tattoo and piercing parlors, at day camps, or even at standard gyms. Even ultra-exclusive night clubs are buying into the absinthe experience. Some activities are inherently risky.
All the same, it’s a misnomer to think that you can’t sue a business after signing a liability waiver. Some issues aren’t covered by liability waivers at all. For example, a trampoline jump is inherently risky, but you’re assuming the risk under the premise that the business is maintaining their trampolines correctly. If the trampoline rips and you break your leg plunging through the fabric that was supposed to catch you then that liability waiver does not necessary let the business off the hook.
When does a liability waiver apply?
It depends on the language in the waiver. Some waivers are utterly unenforceable.
If you get hurt at a New York business it’s vital that you bring in an attorney and allow them to examine the waiver to see just how well the business has protected itself against your specific case.
A waiver may never excuse a business from an incident of out-and-out negligence. They usually don’t cover slip-and-fall or falling debris cases, for example, nor do they cover failures to take reasonable care and precautions to keep business equipment properly repaired and maintained.
A waiver also will not cover instances where an employee deliberately or maliciously harms a customer. It also will not cover a business that made the waiver too difficult to sign, who had you sign the waiver under fraudulent pretenses, and who coerced you to sign the waiver in some way.
Finally, waivers are often unenforceable in cases where you paid a fee to the owner or operator of the business in order to use the property.
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Meet Mr. Richman
SCOTT B. RICHMAN, ESQ.
Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines.