Most organizations host or organize events for their company or with volunteers. For any organization, including for profit or non-profit, it is important to establish a process to limit liability at each event; especially events with physical activities.
One of the best practices to limit event liability is to require a signed wavier. This would need to be signed by each individual (and for minors would require a signature by a legal guardian).
Below are example provisions for waiver of liability. This is merely an example of the types of provisions which could be included in such an agreement. Note, this is not to be used without first seeking legal advice from counsel.
If the organization is going to photograph or record individuals, a waiver may also need to include a provision allowing the use of a participant's likeness in promotional material. Failure to secure a release to use a person in advertisements (including employees) could result in significant liability.
[These are simply examples of provisions from an agreement and is not legal advice. You must seek advice from legal counsel before using any of the information on this website.]
This Agreement executed on __________________ [date] by __________________________ [name] (“Releasor”) residing at _______________________________________________________________________________ [address].
Releasor hereby agrees to participate in activities which may involve physical exertion and interaction with individuals, (“activities”). Releasor for [himself or herself] and [his or her] personal representatives, heirs, beneficiaries, spouse, children, and next of kin, releases, waives, discharges, and covenants not to sue ___________________________, its officers, owners, members, promoters, sponsors, advertisers, employees, contractors, agents, or owners of the premises where such activities take place (“Organizer”), from all liability to the Releasor, [his or her] personal representatives, assigns, heirs, and next of kin for all loss or damage, and any claim or damage, on account of personal injury, property damage, or death of Releasor (and any claim related thereto), whether caused by the negligence, gross negligence, recklessness, intentional actions of Organizer or any third party.
Releasor, in consideration of being permitted to participate in activities as well as other good and valuable consideration, does for [himself or herself], [his or her] heirs, spouse, executors, administrators, and assigns, release and forever discharge Organizers, their successors, assignees, heirs, administrators, and executors of and from any and every claim, demand, action or right of action, of whatsoever kind or nature, either in law or in equity arising from or by reason of any bodily injury or personal injuries known or unknown, death or property damage as a result of participation in any activities in connection with Organizer, Organizer’s property or the property of third parties, whether by negligence, gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional act of any party. Releasor further releases all third parties from any claim whatsoever because of first aid, treatment, or service rendered [him or her] during participation in activities.
Releasor agrees to indemnify each Organizer from any loss, liability, damage, or cost Organizers may incur due to the presence of Releasor in or on Organizer’s property, even if such is caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional act of the Organizer or any third party. Releasor agrees to indemnify and hold Organizer harmless in the event any claim, suit, demand, or any other action is taken by a spouse, children, or heirs of the Releasor; such indemnification will include all judgments, settlements, court costs, filing fees, litigation expenses, and attorneys' fees incurred by Organizer.
Releasor assumes full responsibility for and risk of bodily injury, dismemberment, death, or property damage due to negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts of Organizer and any third party. Releasor acknowledges that activities may result in conditions that change and may become more hazardous; individuals can be dangerous and unpredictable.
Releasor agrees that this Agreement is intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by the laws of the State of Ohio and that if any portion of the Agreement is held invalid, it is agreed that the balance will, notwithstanding, continue in full legal force and effect. The parties hereby irrevocably submit to jurisdiction and venue in Hamilton County, Ohio and waive the right to a trial by jury. Any dispute related to this Agreement or activities must be resolved in arbitration.
This Agreement contains the entire agreement between the parties as it relates to the terms of this Agreement and is not a mere recital. This Agreement cannot be altered or amended unless in writing, signed by both parties; any future agreement between the parties will have no force or effect on this Agreement without specific reference.
Releasor further states that [he or she] has carefully read the above Agreement and knows the contents of the Agreement and signs this Agreement as [his or her] own free act. Releasor intends the signature below to be a complete and unconditional release of all liability to the greatest extent allowed by law.
The information above is not legal advice but simply example provisions of an agreement.
Elliott Stapleton Attorney with CMRS Law