Wow. This is nuts. I know people are sue-happy, but now the waivers are swinging over to the other extreme.
I wanted to go out and participate in The Walk, an event that’s supposed to raise money for the local Distress Centre, and other suicide-prevention initiatives. I guess, since walking involves physical exercise as well as crossing roads, somebody might over-exert themselves or step into the path of a moving car. Enter the waiver, release, whatever you call it. Most of this thing is ridiculous but understandable. But there are a couple of sections that make one raise their eyebrows for different reasons. Here’s the thing. I’ll comment where I feel I need to.
I wish to participate in The Walk. I understand that in participating in this event, I will be using public streets and facilities where many hazards exist and I am aware of and appreciate the risks that may result. I am also aware that accidents may occur during these events and that I may be seriously injured.
How sad. Does that mean that every day I walk down the street, I should sign a waiver? Gees!
In consideration for being permitted by The Walk to participate in this event, I agree to assume all risks and to release and hold harmless The Walk, Community Torchlight, United Way as well as their designated beneficiaries, sponsors, officials, including but not limited to the City of Guelph and affiliated organizations (and all their respective directors, officers, agents, employees and members), who, through negligence, carelessness or any other cause might be liable to me. I intend by this Waiver and Release to release, in advance, and to waive my rights and to discharge all of the persons and entities mentioned above, from all claims for damages for death, personal injury or property damage that I may have, or which may hereafter accrue to me, as a result of my participation in this event, even though that liability may arise from negligence or carelessness on the part of the persons or entities being released, from dangerous or defective property or equipment owned, maintained or controlled by them or because of their possible liability without fault.
Woe woe woe! So you’re saying you could forget to close off roads that we walk down, we could get smoked, and even then, we couldn’t sue? It’s not like I want to sue, but this seems like overkill!
I understand and agree that this Waiver and Release is binding on my heirs, assigns and legal representatives. I am physically capable of completing this event. If I am aware of or under treatment for any physical infirmity, ailment or illness, my medical care provider knows of and has approved my participation in this event. I acknowledge that I, and I alone, am solely responsible for my personal health and safety, and the personal property I bring with me. I will read the event description and rules for participation in the event and I will abide by all the rules and regulations established by the event organizers and personnel as well as the local vehicle code.
I understand that if I am under the age of 18 years or younger at the time of the event in order to participate I must have a parent/guardian’s consent. If I am registering a minor, I hereby represent that I am the parent or legal guardian of the minor and that I am waiving my rights and the rights of the minor regarding the matters described here.
I understand that all donations processed by The Walk are non-refundable, even if I do not participate in the event.
I have carefully read this Waiver and Release and fully understand its contents. I am aware that this is a release of liability and a contract between myself and the persons and entities mentioned above and I approve of it of my own free will,
That last part seems pretty ordinary. It’s just the second section that seems a little much. I even called the organizers and asked them why they went to such great lengths to protect themselves from harm. Were they planning to be neglegent and careless? She just kept saying that it wouldn’t hold up in court anyway. Then why put it in there? She couldn’t give me a good answer. She just kept saying that most people just sign it and don’t read it. Well, I’m not most people. One thing I remember from Law Classs is to always read what you’re signing. If that means asking someone to read it to me, then that’s what I do.
I hate this. I want to help out, and the great majority of me says “It’s a friggin walk. Nothing’s going to happen.” But there’s a small part of me that says “Would you honestly sign that?” I’ll probably end up going, because, it’s a friggin walk! Plus, I know a few of the organizers, and they’re not scumbags or anything.
So here’s my question. They said that waiver was standard issue. Has anyone else seen one so broad in pretty much taking away anyone’s right to do anything? Why would they put that clause in there if it doesn’t hold up in court? I’m not trying to say I’m sue-happy or something, that thing just seems way over the top. but maybe I just haven’t seen enough releases of liability.