Weekly Law Resume - March 17, 2011: Negligence - Release And Waiver Of Liability Agreement Does Not Bar A Claim Of "Gross" Negligence

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Jerid Rosencrans v. Dover Images, Ltd. Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two (February 16, 2011)

This case examined the scope of a release and waiver agreement, and whether such an agreement bars a claim for gross negligence.

Jerid Rosencrans sued the defendant Dover Images, Ltd. ("Dover") for negligence. Dover does business as Star West Motocross ("Star West"), and operates a motocross track. Before entering the track facility, patrons were required to stop their cars at a booth that was staffed by a Star West employee. At the booth, while the patron was in his or her car, the patron paid a fee and signed a release and waiver of liability. The document was titled, "Release and Waiver of Liability Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement" (the "Release"), and underneath the title were approximately nine paragraphs. The paragraphs set forth the waiver and release. Under the paragraphs were multiple horizontal lines, separated into four columns, where patrons could print and sign their names. In the section where patrons signed their names, they were required to sign their names over the words "I have read this release."

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