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Do activity liability waivers hold up in California civil court?

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2023 | Premises Liability

There are many forms of entertainment in California that compel participants to assume some degree of inherent risk. Some people rent bounce houses for community events or birthday parties. There are standalone trampoline parks where dozens of children at once might pay to bounce on large trampolines. And, of course, California has world famous theme parks and attractions galore.

Those activities are among the many forms of entertainment that could lead to serious injury for both adults and children in California. Most businesses that provide some kind of thrilling or exciting entertainment have participants or their parents sign liability waivers before they can access those amenities. Occasionally, someone in a bounce house or at a trampoline park could end up severely injured. What then?

There are rules about the assumption of liability

The California courts have heard all kinds of personal injury claims, and prior rulings help establish policy. A case from years ago established that there are scenarios in which individuals accept a degree of liability for their actions by doing something clearly risky.

The assumption of liability when engaging in dangerous entertainment means that those in bounce houses or at trampoline parks accept that there is a certain amount of risk inherent in such activities, and that assumption of risk diminishes their right to take legal action. However, it does not totally eliminate the possibility of a lawsuit. Neither does a liability waiver.

In scenarios where some kind of significant negligence contributed to the injury, it may still be possible to pursue a personal injury claim despite rules regarding the assumption of risk and the decision to sign a liability waiver. If the failure to properly maintain the facilities or secure the bounce house to the ground ultimately led to someone’s injury, those failures by the business or its staff could open it up to financial liability for the injuries that result from those errors.

Therefore, the details of the situation that led to someone’s injury at an entertainment facility or a party with rental equipment will have a major influence on whether or not that person can take legal action. Not every liability waiver will hold up in court or exempt a business from financial and legal culpability if someone gets hurt because of negligence.

Seeking legal guidance concerning an injury at a trampoline park or in a bounce house might help people determine whether they have grounds to pursue compensation under California law.