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Florida Court Holds Gross Negligence Claim Not Barred by Liability Release Waiver

If you have been injured and you believe you cannot sue the at-fault party because you signed a liability waiver, you need to speak to a seasoned Miami injury attorney about your legal rights and options. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand that waivers are not always enforceable and will do our best to make sure you get the justice and compensation you deserve for your harm.

Many businesses require people to sign a liability waiver before allowing them to partake in certain activities. A liability waiver is a type of form that releases a party from liability for harm or damage that might take place under contract. In other words, the individual signing the contact “waives” his or her right to hold the other party liable for injury or losses. These agreements are common in a wide range of activities, from go karting to white water rafting. It is important to note that just because you signed a waiver does not necessarily mean you will be barred from suing in the event of an accident or injury. The general rule is that while waivers of liability can insulate businesses from liability of acts for negligence, they cannot insulate from gross negligence. A waiver may be unenforceable for a number of other reasons as well.

A Recent Florida Case Involving a Liability Release Waiver

A Florida appeals court recently discussed the parameters of a liability release waiver and if such an agreement could preclude a plaintiff from pursing a claim of gross negligence against the at-fault party. In this case, a woman signed a release and waiver of liability and assumption of risk agreement to access a restricted area of a speedway. During the race, she was killed when a tow truck backed over her. The plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the speedway. The trial court found that the release agreement barred the lawsuit, finding that it only applied to gross negligence and pointed out that no gross negligence took place in this case.

The plaintiff appealed, and the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision. The appellate court explained that although the language of the release was applicable to “all acts of negligence,” in the context of closed-motor sports, the Legislature has explicitly excluded gross negligence for harm taking place in the nonspectator areas of the facility. As such, gross negligence claims are not barred by the release. In addition, the court pointed out that the trial court erred when it held that the speedway did not commit gross negligence because this is a determination for the jury. Here, there was evidence at least supporting a prima facie case for gross negligence when the facts were considered in a light most favorable to the plaintiff.

Contact a Trusted Miami Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident in South Florida, you may be entitled to compensation. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are committed to resolving personal injury claims in a competent and compassionate manner. We are here to answer your questions and address your questions at every stage of the legal process. For a free initial consultation, please feel free to call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online.

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Florida Teenager Seriously Injured After Being Struck by SUV, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 2, 2019

88-Year-Old Man Dies After Driving Golf Cart into Truck’s Path, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 2, 2019