Archive for the ‘Arbitration’ Category

Capped and Dismissed – Arbitration Provision with Damages Cap in Zip-Line Waiver and Release Enforced (VT)

September 30, 2015

Littlejohn v. Timberquest Park at Magic, LLC (Vermont)
(trial court disposition)

The seventy-six year old plaintiff was severely injured while participating in an adventure zip-line course in Vermont.  Plaintiff had never participated in an adventure course before.  Despite having received instruction from the zip-line facility, the plaintiff mistakenly attached his equipment to a guy wire, thinking it was a zip-line cable.  While descending, he ran into a tree that anchored the other end of the guy wire.  He sued the zip-line facility alleging that it negligently designed, constructed, and operated the course.

Plaintiff’s friend had purchased their tickets for the adventure course online through the facility’s website.  Plaintiff arrived at the facility, and they were presented with a “Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims, Indemnification, and Arbitration Agreement” to sign.  Plaintiff contended that the website had not warned them that they would be required to sign a liability waiver in order to participate in the activities.  The agreement was presented in digital format on an electronic device, and plaintiff was instructed to read and sign it electronically.  The agreement specifically included a provision pursuant to which the plaintiff agreed to submit any claims in excess of $75,000 to binding arbitration.  Alternatively, if plaintiff filed a lawsuit in court, the agreement provided that plaintiff agreed that his damages would be capped at $75,000.  The agreement further attempted to require the arbitration panel or court (as applicable) to decide the enforceability of the agreement as a “threshold matter.”

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Tough Luck – Extreme Obstacle Course Registrants Forced Into Arbitration to Pursue Refunds; Class Action Barred (MA)

May 28, 2015

Pazol v. Tough Mudder Inc. (Massachusetts)

The plaintiffs registered and paid to participate in Tough Mudder’s Boston-area “Mudderella” obstacle course event, which was scheduled to take place in Haverhill, Massachusetts.  However, a few days before the event, Tough Mudder moved the location of the event to Westbrook, Maine.  Plaintiffs were unable to attend the event at the new location, and Tough Mudder refused to refund their registration fees.  Therefore, the plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit against Tough Mudder.

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You’re Fired

June 4, 2009

Christakis v. Mark Burnett Productions (California)
(Court dismisses the action of a disgruntled reality show applicant on procedural grounds, and finds that the applicant’s waiver and release was valid and binding to preclude liability.)

The plaintiff applied to be a participant on “The Apprentice,” a popular reality game show in which individuals compete against each other to prove their business skills and earn a coveted employment position with Donald Trump. Plaintiff was one of the fifty (50) finalists vying to make the show, but was ultimately not one of the final sixteen (16) selections. He thereafter filed a lawsuit in federal court in California, claiming that the production company engaged in “systematic actions” to disqualify him from the show, and that the production company made slanderous and defamatory statements about him. His complaint alleged (1) defamation; (2) tortuous interference with prospective economic advantage; and (3) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

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