Can A Patron Who Signed A Release In Buffalo Still Sue If They Suffer A Personal Injury?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on July 24, 2015

in Buffalo Injury Questions and Answers

Many Buffalo area establishments where people gather for recreation, exercise or entertainment require patrons to sign a release stating that should the patron suffer a personal injury while using the property, they will not hold the property owner or the operator of the activity liable.

Although signing such a release would seem to bar an injured person from bringing a personal injury claim, there are several exemptions to the application of such releases in New York State.

As a result, an experienced personal injury lawyer should carefully examine the release to determine if it applies when someone is injured.

Under New York State law, any release signed by an injured person related to the use of a swimming pool, gymnasium, place of public amusement or recreation, or similar establishment which exempts the facility from liability for negligence is void and unenforceable – so long as the owner or operator received a fee or other compensation for use of the facility.

The logic behind this law is that where someone is making a profit for use of a facility, that person should be held responsible for maintaining it in a safe manner and ensuring the safety of those who use the facility.

Even in cases where the injured person did not pay a fee, the release still needs to be carefully reviewed.

Releases tend to be strictly construed by the courts, and if an injury was caused by something outside the parameters of the release – such as a hazard unrelated to the facility’s normal use or a particularly dangerous condition that the owner allowed to exist at the location – it may still be possible to pursue a personal injury claim.

If you have suffered a personal injury on someone else’s property, we can help you.

Call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation.

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