Recent Hilbrich Blog Entries

Softball Player's Injuries Barred by Release Agreement

As any athlete knows, participation in a sport or activity poses risks to one’s health and safety. Because of this, many organizations require participants to sign contracts containing exculpatory agreements. These agreements essentially release the organization, or other entity, from liability for any injury or claim of damage. When it comes to sports, unless the contract lists specific instances of negligence for which the organization cannot be found liable, the contract is presumed to be limited to injuries incurred while participating in the course of the game. In the recent case Wabash County Young Men’s Christian Association, Inc. v. Taylor M. Thompson, the court held that the YMCA, as owners of a softball field, could not be held liable for the injuries Taylor Thompson sustained when she slid into second base because she signed a release form waiving liability for injuries incurred while playing softball. Taylor argued that her injuries were the result of the base being permanently fixed in position; thereby, making it overly rigid and a clear safety hazard. However, because the actual action of sliding into second base, regardless of its rigidity, is an activity inherent in the game of softball, the exculpatory agreement in the release form waived the YMCA of all liability. Had her injuries been the result of some hidden danger on the field, however, the court said that the release would not have applied and Taylor would have had a claim against the YMCA. This case illustrates that, while all sports come with inherent risks, an exculpatory agreement may not always apply to waive liability for injuries due to unforeseen hazards or the negligence of others. To determine whether you or loved one were injured by the negligence of another for which compensation may be owed, please call 877-877-LAW2 (5292) or 219-924-2427 for a free consultation with one of our top personal injury attorneys.

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