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Old 04-01-2010, 01:44 PM   #1
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Parents Cannot Sign Binding Liability Waivers For Kids Who Race

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Florida Supreme Court: Parents Cannot Sign Binding Liability Waivers For Kids Who Race
Dec 29, 2008
Ruling endangers participation by minors in all forms of motorsports, from pocketbike and mini racing on up...

Parents cannot waive the right of a child injured in a commercial event to file lawsuits, the Florida Supreme Court ruled earlier this month.

The ruling may have a significant impact on AMA Pro Racing, particularly its new SuperSport class, which is designed to feature riders as young as 16 years old, when the series comes to Daytona. For most purposes, Florida law defines children as anyone under 18.

The December 11 ruling stems from a May 10, 2003 accident involving a 14-year-old boy who was killed while jumping an ATV at an off-road motorsports park. The child’s father had signed a “release and waiver of liability, assumption of risk, and indemnity agreement,” according to the ruling. However a representative of the child’s estate stepped forward and filed a lawsuit for wrongful death against the park’s operators.

A majority of the Florida Supreme Court justices said, in ruling that the lawsuit could go forward, that the waiver signed by the father is “unenforceable.”

“We hold that a pre-injury release executed by a parent on behalf of a minor child is unenforceable against the minor or the minor’s estate in a tort action arising from injuries resulting from participation in a commercial activity,” the majority opinion states. “It cannot be presumed that a parent who has decided to voluntarily risk a minor child’s physical well-being is acting in the child’s best interest.

“Furthermore, we find that there is injustice when a parent agrees to waive the tort claims of a minor child and deprive the child of the right to legal relief when the child is injured as a result of another party’s negligence. When a parent executes such a release and a child is injured, the provider of the activity escapes liability while the parent is left to deal with the financial burden of an injured child. If the parent cannot afford to bear that burden, the parties who suffer are the child, other family members, and the people of the State who will be called on to bear that financial burden. Therefore, when a parent decides to execute a pre-injury release on behalf of a minor child, the parent is not protecting the welfare of the child, but is instead protecting the interests of the activity provider.”

AMA Pro Racing officials did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the ruling. But Henry DeGouw, operator of CCS Florida, says that the ruling could have a wide-ranging impact on motorcycle racing of all types in the state – and impact non-racing activities as well.

“I don’t know how sweeping that is. At this point, I don’t know,” DeGouw told Roadracing World.

CCS Florida allows riders as young as 12, and 16-year-old riders with a Pro license can race 600cc and even 1000cc machines.

“I know this is being looked at (by CCS),” DeGouw says. “It’s not going to affect us immediately, but as to how this all comes out, this would affect Daytona, and any track in Florida. It all depends – this could affect football, anything where parents can sign a waiver.”

The potentially wide sweep of the ruling drew the attention of dissenting Justice Charles Wells, who wrote:

“Without the ability to execute pre-injury releases, a parent may find that his or her minor child will not be able to participate in activities because the operators of the activities will not accept the financial exposure of the minor’s participation, regardless of whether the parent would decide that the benefit to the minor outweighed the risk of injury.

“I believe that it is fundamentally unfair to now declare a new public policy and then apply it to the defendants in this case. … The importance of this issue cannot be overstated because it affects so many youth activities and involves so much monetary exposure.”

The American Motorcyclist Association says the impact of the ruling may be to reduce or eliminate youth motorsports activities in Florida.

"The real issue here is the potential effect on the availability and pricing of liability insurance for activities in Florida involving minors," says Pete terHorst, AMA spokesperson.

"If insurance carriers start to incur greater losses for claims involving minors, these carriers may impose restrictions on activities involving minors, significantly raise premiums, or pull out of the market completely. This is one of the risk factors that the AMA must consider every year as it develops its programs and rules."
http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/d.../sc07-1739.pdf
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:26 PM   #2
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Simply amazing. This frustrates me to no end. Our kid are fatter than fvck from playing too many video games as it. Now, no one is going to want to host youth activities of ANY kind because they're liable for anything that happens to the kids.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:27 PM   #4
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:17 PM   #5
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Simply amazing. This frustrates me to no end. Our kid are fatter than fvck from playing too many video games as it. Now, no one is going to want to host youth activities of ANY kind because they're liable for anything that happens to the kids.
Yep. I've already sent this to DPS for legal counsel. If this can be considered a precedent and affect us in ANY way, we will no longer offer the BRC or ERC to minors.

I hate the thought, but we have to protect the company first.

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Old 04-01-2010, 05:33 PM   #6
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Frucked up... POS, stupid people....
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:30 PM   #7
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I believe that is the case in texas; hence why you cannot skydive if you are under 18 due to minors not being able to enter a legaly binding waiver and parents not being able to sign away somebody else's rights.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:59 PM   #8
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:17 AM   #9
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I'd like to read what MacMan or other LSTD guys have to write. I know their waiver requires a parent or guardian to sign before someone under 18 can do a track day.

If Florida high school sports, particularly football, are affected the state legislature will quickly step in.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:23 AM   #10
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It's not fvckin idiots its fvckin lawyers. Nothing to do with law all to do with another avenue for 30%. B&stards.
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:54 AM   #11
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forbid event organizers make things safe for kids. or anyone for that matter.

accidents happen, that is one thing imo, but if its caused by negligence and it could have been prevented that is different.
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:44 PM   #12
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this is the future activites

2wrj38o
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:14 PM   #13
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those are the current activities allready...

that is for anyone who wants a 100% guarantee that I wont be hurt, and will enjoy this no matter what, and if its not evertything that I dreamed (cuz knows that I have never had to deal with dissapointment in my life), then I will sue your and make sure that nobody has to suffer either.

Ohh and once I realize that your safe activity deprived me of excersice that I would've gotten otherwise and you didn't try to convince me hard enough then I will sue you for making me fat!

yup that sounds about right...
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:19 PM   #14
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those are the current activities allready...

that is for anyone who wants a 100% guarantee that I wont be hurt, and will enjoy this no matter what, and if its not evertything that I dreamed (cuz knows that I have never had to deal with dissapointment in my life), then I will sue your and make sure that nobody has to suffer either.

Ohh and once I realize that your safe activity deprived me of excersice that I would've gotten otherwise and you didn't try to convince me hard enough then I will sue you for making me fat!

yup that sounds about right...
yea...sad as it is.... what happen to being outside from sunset to sundown am glad i got to go through those days
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