We have a small, but very busy and growing, hot springs resort, that is open to both overnight, day fee and hourly guests. We are currently having all of our guests who are over 18, sign a liability release. I will paste the text below. Since we are getting so busy, I am exploring options for a much faster check in process.I have heard that anybody can sue and if negligence is found, a liability release is useless. If this is true, are we wasting time by having them sign one? Would signage with similar wordage be sufficient? What are the benefits of having an actual liability release and if there are some, would you let me know what key elements ours may be missing?Our release text: Please read and sign below: This property is privately owned and management reserves the right to refuse service to anyone. Refunds are not available. You are responsible for the actions and safety of your party. You are advised to stay out of the river, drink plenty of water, and get out of the springs every 15 minutes to prevent fatigue. If you are pregnant or have health conditions, consult your doctor before using the springs. Please shower and consult the posted pool rules before soaking. The undersigned agrees and does hereby release from liability and to indemnify and hold harmless XXXXXX, and any of its employees or agents representing or related to XXXXXX. This release is for any and all liability for personal injuries (including death) and property losses or damage occasioned by, or in connection with any activity or accommodations for this visit. The undersigned further agrees to abide by all the posted rules and regulations througout their visit.
State/Country relating to Question: New Mexico
Good evening, do you have Liability Insurance?
That is good news. The waivers really do not accomplish much as court wont enforce them if the establishment is negligent or reckless. Practically, no harm in using them since sometimes if someone is hurt, they recall the waiver and dont sue on that basis.
Thanks for your response. I have some follow up questions. I understand that waivers and signs don't help in cases of negligence on our part, however, we have a riverside location and hot mineral springs. We want people to understand the inherent health risks involved in soaking in hot water, as well as the risks of slippery decks around the pools and the risks of entering the river. Would signs about these risks be sufficient substitutes to waivers and do they provide similar protection? And if so, what kind of wording is necessary to cover us?If we should keep having them sign waivers, is it possible for one person to sign for the entire group? If not, can parents sign waivers for their children, and how should that be worded?Our ultimate goal would be to be as legally covered as possible with signs and speed up the check in process. But, if signs don't provide any protections, would like to find the easiest method of reducing our risk of being held liable for accidents.
You should have such warnings. Court have found that absence of a warning can trigger a negligence claim. They serve a different purpose from a waiver and should be available wherever a reasonable person would be served by such a warning.
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