Are you a business owners that provides or manages some form of activity to minor children? If so, do you typically have the parents sign a pre-injury liability waiver? Guess what? The Michigan Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that a parental pre-injury liability waiver is unenforceable under Michigan law. Why? Because a parent lacks authority, absent special circumstances, to bind his or her child by contract. Only time will tell what impact this has on the provision of recreational and sporting activities for kids and how much litigation crops up because of it.
If you’re interested in reading the actual court opinion, you can read it here.
What do you think? Is the law in Michigan right? If not, should the court have come to a different decision? How should we strike a balance between a business’ ability to “contract away” liability and the protection of young children no matter what the circumstances?
Michael Lichterman is an attorney specializing in estate planning and helping provide peace of mind to families and businesses in Grand Rapids, Grandville, Cascade, Forest Hills, Ada, Byron Center, Caledonia, and the surrounding areas. He specializes in “whole family wealth” planning for doctors, nurses, lawyers, other professionals with minor children, and the “sandwich generation” (caring for parents and children) – and does so from a Christian perspective. He takes the “counselor” part of attorney and counselor at law very seriously, and enjoys creating life long relationships with his clients – many of which have become great friends.