Consider the following fact pattern.
Little Jimmy, who is fifteen years old, is a high school football player at Dead End High School. At the start of every football season, the school’s athletic department requires that each student under eighteen years old get parental permission. On the back of the parental permission form, there is a waiver and release clause. The waiver and release clause states:
The risk of injury to my child from the activities involved in these programs is significant, including the potential for permanent disability and death, and while particular rules, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury does exist; and,
- FOR MYSELF, SPOUSE, AND CHILD, I KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL SUCH RISKS, both known and unknown, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASES or others, and assume full responsibility for my child’s participation; and,
- I willingly agree to comply with the program’s stated and customary terms and conditions for participation. If I observe any unusual significant concern in my child’s readiness for participation and/or in the program itself, I will remove my child from the participation and bring such attention of the nearest official immediately; and,
- I myself, my spouse, my child, and on behalf of my/our heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS ______________________________________; (Legal Name Of Your Sports Program, Ex: League Name) its directors, officers, officials, agents, employees, volunteers, other participants, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, advertisers, and if applicable, owners and lessors of premises used to conduct the event (“Releasees”), WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL INJURY, DISABILITY, DEATH, or loss or damage to person or property incident to my child’s involvement or participation in these programs, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE, to the fullest extent permitted by law.
- I, for myself, my spouse, my child, and on behalf of my/our heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS all the above Releasees from any and all liabilities incident to my involvement or participation in these programs, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THEIR NEGLIGENCE, to the fullest extent permitted by law.
I HAVE READ THIS RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK AGREEMENT, FULLY UNDERSTAND ITS TERMS, UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE GIVEN UP SUBSTANTIAL RIGHTS BY SIGNING IT, AND SIGN IT FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY WITHOUT ANY INDUCEMENT.
(PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE) (PRINT NAME)
UNDERSTANDING OR RISK
I understand the seriousness of the risks involved in participating in this program, my personal responsibilities for adhering to rules and regulation, and accept them as a participant.
(PARTICIPANT SIGNATURE) (PRINT NAME)
Little Jimmy’s mother and father are not supportive of Little Jimmy’s decision to play football. Last season, Little Jimmy broke his leg during a game resulting in months of rehab. Because of his parent’s reluctance, Little Jimmy forges his mother and father’s signature. The next day, Little Jimmy hands in the form with the forged signatures. During a game later in the season, Little Jimmy suffers a heart-attack during a game. Thereafter, Little Jimmy’s parents sue the school, arguing that he should not have been playing football and that the school had not insured that he was physically fit to play. The school raises the signed permission form with the release/waiver provisions in its defense. Little Jimmy’s parents argue that they never signed the form.
Please analyze this situation.