Defeating Liability Waivers in Personal Injury Cases: Substantive and Procedural Strategies

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, August 27, 2015

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide guidance for personal injury attorneys regarding substantive and procedural tactics for defeating a liability waiver signed by or for an injured client.


Owners and operators of gyms, spas, amusement parks, gun ranges, water sports activities, scooter rentals and other recreational facilities or activities often require participants to sign a liability release or waiver before engaging in activities, a business tactic that is becoming more common. The waiver is intended to release the owner or operator from liability for injuries a participant suffers as a result of the owner or operator’s negligence.

Although some injured individuals view the liability waiver as an automatic barrier to recovery, under certain circumstances a release can be challenged as unenforceable. The laws addressing the enforceability of liability waivers vary from state to state; however, there are general themes on enforceability that are instructive for personal injury attorneys challenging waivers.

Personal injury victims may challenge waivers on contractual grounds by demonstrating that the release was unconscionable, unclear, adhesive, or against public policy. Alternatively, personal injury attorneys can use procedural strategies to challenge liability waivers, such as alleging gross negligence, strict liability or fraud in the legal complaint; strategically timing when to challenge the waiver; and determining the most advantageous choice of law or venue for the action.

Listen as our authoritative panel of personal injury attorneys examines effective substantive and procedural strategies for challenging liability waivers on behalf of an injured client.



  1. Overview of liability release
    1. Purpose
    2. Public policy considerations
    3. Contractual considerations
  2. Requirements for valid release
    1. Enforceability checklist
    2. Parental waivers for minor children
    3. Case Studies
  3. Defeating release enforceability/validity
    1. Substantive arguments
    2. Procedural strategies
    3. Prohibitions against liability releases


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What makes a liability release form valid or invalid?
  • How can personal injury attorneys defeat liability releases on substantive law grounds?
  • How can personal injury attorneys use procedural strategies to defeat personal injury releases?
  • What are the public policy considerations that support and oppose liability waivers?
  • Are liability releases signed by a parent on behalf of a minor child enforceable?
  • When are liability releases prohibited?


Eric Romano
Eric Romano

Romano Law Group

Mr. Romano concentrates his practice in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, criminal defense, and...  |  Read More

Ken Levinson
Ken Levinson

Levinson and Stefani

Mr. Levinson is a successful trial lawyer focusing on personal injury litigation. He is currently serving on the...  |  Read More

Michael L. Jacobs
Michael L. Jacobs

Law Offices of Michael L. Jacobs

Mr. Jacobs focuses his practice on personal injury law. He successfully litigates cases involving automobile accidents,...  |  Read More

Jeffery M. Jacobs
Jeffery M. Jacobs

Attorney and Counselor at Law
Law Offices of Michael L. Jacobs

Mr. Jacobs practices personal injury law. He has successfully litigated personal injury cases involving defeating...  |  Read More

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