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mdwhalen

FL high court invalidates parents' release

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On December 11th the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a parent may not legally bind a minor by executing a pre-injury release for a commercial activity. So even if the parents sign a release on behalf of their child, the child can still sue. The action arose out of a minor's death at an ATV track but the ruling would certainly apply to any commercial activity in which a minor could be injured or killed. The decision raises a lot of questions: does it apply to school related sports and activities will the state legislature respond? The Supreme Court saw it is a balancing of parents' rights against the state's right to protect children. The decision resolves a conflict in decisions by lower courts around the state. If you are interested in reading the whole opinion it is reported at Kirton v. Fields, 33 Fla.L.Weekly S939 (Fla. December 11, 2008).
"I have magic buttons ;)." skymama

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It's not too surprising, given the trend that Florida and other states have been following. I would expect you will see similar results in other states.

(I'm not saying it's good policy, I'm simply saying that I'm not surprised it turned out this way.)

Net result for DZ owners: if you want to (help) make sure your DZ's waiver is effective, don't accept waivers unless the skydivers/students are at least the age of majority in your state (and check their ID).

If you want to roll the dice anyway, that's up to you, but do so knowingly.

/Not legal advice.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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Yep! I'm on the Competition Committee of the Minnesota Supermileage Competition. It's an engineering Challenge where High School kids build small cars to compete for the best fuel economy. We get about 100 cars up to Brainerd International Raceway each spring to test their designs.

High School kids building cars that get 800-1500 miles per gallon! And we're watching this stuff really close because our students and their parents all sign waivers.

If this is the way of the world, we're about to loose many good things...
Birdshit & Fools Productions

"Son, only two things fall from the sky."

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When are people going to not be okay with the state raising our children (communism)? The states teach our kids about sex, right and wrong (more accurately that there is no right or wrong), what to eat, etc. States have even passed laws prohibiting certain food and drinks in schools! And now we have a court saying that parents aren't responsible for thier kids.

DZ's are really going to have to watch out as I am sure there are plenty of lawyers ready to cash in on this kind of a ruling.

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I agree in general that our society has become way too litiguous; but I think it is a good thing that parents can not sign away a kids rights.

IMO, it is each participants duty to know the risks, and each provider of services duty to not be negligent. Regardless of what's in a waiver, if you fuck up you should own up. I really don't understand why it is legal to include language in a contract which absolves people of negligence.

As a basketball coach, I could personally care less if they sign the waiver or not, I am going to make every effort to not be negligent. If I am negligent, I deserve to be fucked over, regardless of the paperwork on file.

The thing that makes a mess out of it is that the courts appear to be biased on the side of participants/offenders not being responsible for much.

As an aside, our school system makes the parents and the kids sign all forms. I don't think they intend to hold the kids legally responsible, just trying to send a message about owning up. Still very bizarre.
" . . . the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience." -- Aldous Huxley

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Please stick to the skydiving aspects of this. If you would like to start a thread about the political aspects of this decision, please do so in Speaker's Corner.



At least in the US, skydiving and minors are already a pretty much dead topic. A few people are willing and confident to work with the legal risk.

I suppose if this continues, I'll have more open ski slopes. But the DZ isn't going to change.

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Pretty soon you won't be able to let your kids out of the house or there will be no activity that will allow kids. Everyone thank a fucking lawyer for all the things we can't do because of liability. When will we stand up and say enough is enough?



I don't think enough people ever will. Just big brother closing another gate of the fence that already surrounds us.
Millions of my potential children died on your daughters' face last night.

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I really don't understand why it is legal to include language in a contract which absolves people of negligence.



Come up with concrete definitions of negligence and I might agree with you, but in a legal system that can be twisted by a good/bad lawyer to show simply exiting an aircraft is negligence then I can't.
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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I'll bite... if the kid is dead, who sued on his behalf? Please tell me it wasn't the parents who signed the wavier!!!!



Follow Orange1's link in post #2. Parent's divorced. Dad signs waiver, kid dies. Mom sues.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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I'll bite... if the kid is dead, who sued on his behalf? Please tell me it wasn't the parents who signed the wavier!!!!



Follow Orange1's link in post #2. Parent's divorced. Dad signs waiver, kid dies. Mom sues.



And even if both parents signed a waiver, a grandparent could sue. A brother could sue, etc etc.

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And still, it's a minor. A minor has not yet reached age of majority.
You can't waive rights they don't have.


That's why parents signed the waiver, not the minor.
I understand the need for conformity. Without a concise set of rules to follow we would probably all have to resort to common sense. -David Thorne

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I'll bite... if the kid is dead, who sued on his behalf? Please tell me it wasn't the parents who signed the wavier!!!!



Follow Orange1's link in post #2. Parent's divorced. Dad signs waiver, kid dies. Mom sues.



And even if both parents signed a waiver, a grandparent could sue. A brother could sue, etc etc.



In most states, and in most cases, that's really not correct, as long as at least 1 of the parents is still living.

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I'll bite... if the kid is dead, who sued on his behalf? Please tell me it wasn't the parents who signed the wavier!!!!



Follow Orange1's link in post #2. Parent's divorced. Dad signs waiver, kid dies. Mom sues.



And even if both parents signed a waiver, a grandparent could sue. A brother could sue, etc etc.



In most states, and in most cases, that's really not correct, as long as at least 1 of the parents is still living.



I've always considered the biggest risk is that the injured minor can sue for themselves upon their 18th birthday.

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