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A growing number of organizations are requiring a signature on liability waivers before allowing folks to participate. On one hand, these documents are supposed to help patrons stay informed of the possible risks. The problem is, people rarely read them – or read them thoroughly – and the details in the fine print are often the most critical.

Although these waivers – which are essentially contracts – are often upheld by courts, they can be successfully challenged on a number of grounds. One could argue the waiver didn’t fully outline the exact risks. One might also argue that the waiver was inherently unfair. It’s possible to say the language was unclear or ambiguous. One could also argue gross negligence.splash

While waivers of liability can insulate organizations from liability for acts of negligence – which is an absence of reasonable care – they cannot insulate from gross negligence. The latter occurs when there is failure to use even the slightest amount of care. It is when a person deliberately disregards someone else’s safety by an act or omission they knew or should have known was going to put someone in danger. This was the allegation in the recent case of Steinberg v. Sahara Sam’s, weighed by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Continue reading

A personal injury lawsuit will not be allowed to proceed after a court found the plaintiff had improperly engaged in “claim-splitting,” a process barred by nearly every court in the country. parking

In the case of Carpenter v. Kenneth Thompson Builder, Inc., it doesn’t appear the plaintiff acted with any maliciousness. Rather, the actions reflect a last-ditch effort to ensure all relevant defendants were included in the litigation. A big part of the problem, however, was that attorneys waited until the last minute to file an amended complaint. When it became clear a hearing on the matter wouldn’t be held prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations on the claim, a second lawsuit was filed, followed with a request to join the two cases.

However, our West Palm Beach injury lawyers understand the end result was that both cases were dismissed for impermissible claim-splitting. The whole fiasco likely could have been avoided if the complaint had been amended sooner, particularly given the fact that attorneys were aware of the secondary defendants’ identities a year in advance of the statute of limitations expiration.

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