Archive for October, 2007

O-U-C-H . . . . What’s That Spell?

October 24, 2007

Krathen v. School Board of Monroe County (Florida)
(High School Cheerleader Injured During Practice; Waiver and Release Signed by Parent Enforced, Negligence Claims Barred)

A high school student injured during a cheerleading practice brought a negligence action against the school board. She alleged that the school board was negligent in the following respects: (1) by failing to adequately supervise the cheerleading practice; (2) by conducting the practice without adequate preparation; (3) by using inexperienced or untrained personnel to supervise the practice; (4) by failing to place protective mats on the floor so as to cushion the impact; (5) by conducting the practice without the coach being present; and (6) by failing to abide by or follow appropriate school board policies and/or procedures relating to extracurricular activities. The defendant school board filed a motion for summary judgment based upon the “Consent and Release of Liability Certificate” signed by the cheerleader and her parents prior to her participation. The trial court granted the motion, and the cheerleader appealed.

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Caution: Supervision Required

October 24, 2007

Patterson v. Sacramento City Unified School District (California)
(Truck Driver Student Injured Unloading Bleachers During a Community Service Project; School Owed a Duty to Supervise; Activity Not Inherently Dangerous and Primary Assumption of Risk Doctrine Did Not Apply)

The plaintiff was an adult truck driver training course student. He brought a negligent supervision action against a school district after he was injured while loading bleachers onto a flat-bed trailer as part of an off-campus community service project. The defendant school district filed a motion for summary judgment, which was eventually granted by the trial court. The court ruled, in part, that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the primary assumption of the risk doctrine in that he voluntarily assumed the risks inherent in the activity and the defendant did nothing to increase those risks. The plaintiff appealed.

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Sticking To It

October 24, 2007

Zipusch v. LA Workout, Inc. (California)
(Woman Falls Due to Sticky Substance on Treadmill; Poorly Worded Waiver and Release Fails to Protect the Health Club from Negligence Liability)

In October of 2004, the plaintiff signed a “Membership Agreement” and, thereafter, became a member of the defendant health club’s facility. On December 10, 2004, plaintiff allegedly sustained injuries when her foot became stuck to a sticky substance on a treadmill at the facility, causing her to lose her balance. Plaintiff filed a complaint against the facility for general negligence and premises liability, alleging its failure to inspect and maintain the exercise equipment resulted in the sticky substance remaining on the treadmill. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment based upon the waiver and release and express assumption of the risk provisions in the agreement, and it alternatively argued that it did not have actual or constructive notice of the allegedly dangerous condition. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

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