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Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?!
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TimeSpiral


Oct 12, 2012, 12:29 PM
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Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?!
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RC,

Is this waiver pretty standard, or is this a load of rubbish?
http://verticalventures.com/waiver.pdf

I can understand waiving certain things and assuming most of the risk, but can I reasonably exempt them from their own equipment failure and/or negligence? That just seems like an extremely one sided agreement.

Obviously I want to climb, so I want to sign the waiver, but I also don't want to be an idiot about it. Any thoughts, RC'ers?

Does anyone have any experience with this they'd like to share?


kennoyce


Oct 12, 2012, 12:42 PM
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Re: [TimeSpiral] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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TimeSpiral wrote:
RC,

Is this waiver pretty standard, or is this a load of rubbish?
http://verticalventures.com/waiver.pdf

I can understand waiving certain things and assuming most of the risk, but can I reasonably exempt them from their own equipment failure and/or negligence? That just seems like an extremely one sided agreement.

Obviously I want to climb, so I want to sign the waiver, but I also don't want to be an idiot about it. Any thoughts, RC'ers?

Does anyone have any experience with this they'd like to share?


Looks like any waiver at any gym. If an accident happened that was truely the gyms fault, there is no way that a waiver like this would hold any water in court.


TimeSpiral


Oct 12, 2012, 12:43 PM
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Re: [kennoyce] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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kennoyce wrote:
TimeSpiral wrote:
RC,

Is this waiver pretty standard, or is this a load of rubbish?
http://verticalventures.com/waiver.pdf

I can understand waiving certain things and assuming most of the risk, but can I reasonably exempt them from their own equipment failure and/or negligence? That just seems like an extremely one sided agreement.

Obviously I want to climb, so I want to sign the waiver, but I also don't want to be an idiot about it. Any thoughts, RC'ers?

Does anyone have any experience with this they'd like to share?


Looks like any waiver at any gym. If an accident happened that was truely the gyms fault, there is no way that a waiver like this would hold any water in court.

That was my general impression is well, but wanted to reach out to the community for some feedback. Thanks!


j-s


Oct 12, 2012, 12:54 PM
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Re: [kennoyce] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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+ 1000000.

In my area, the law is clear :

One cannot exclude or limit his liability if material injury resulted from an intentional or gross fault he committed. "Plain" and "simple" faults can be waived however.
Bodily and moral injury caused to another by one's fault, in my area at least, can never, in any way, be waived.

Still, we have to distinguish a fault from a pure accident, and also from the victims' own and only fault that led to this victim's bodily injury or material damage.

I don't think a gym could be liable, without the gym being negligent or anything, if a climber decided, on his own, and without proper accreditations and training, to take a go at lead climbing and fell to death.

Pure accidents, in the absence of negligence from any part, should not in my opinion make a gym liable (example : a climber bringing his own rope (visibly in a good state) at the gym, and that rope breaks when HE climbs. How could he ever hold a gym liable for that?

In other words, some of types liabilities can validly be waived, onthers, not. It depends on your state/country's laws.

Anyways, long story short, gyms use such waivers so that climbers not knowing the law will believe the paper they sign, and never undertake legal procedures against them.


(This post was edited by j-s on Oct 12, 2012, 1:01 PM)


vinnie83


Oct 12, 2012, 1:07 PM
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Re: [TimeSpiral] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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The main reasons behind those climbing gym waivers are 1) to obtain a written record that you are aware climbing can be dangerous, and 2) like someone else mentioned to discourage really stupid people from filing a lawsuit if they get hurt.

You can sign the paper, but it doesn't hold any weight since no one can legally waive negligence.

I like how #3 says you will hold the gym harmless, blah blah blah and then #6 says, in the event you do file a lawsuit...


TimeSpiral


Oct 12, 2012, 1:18 PM
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Re: [vinnie83] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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vinnie83 wrote:
The main reasons behind those climbing gym waivers are 1) to obtain a written record that you are aware climbing can be dangerous, and 2) like someone else mentioned to discourage really stupid people from filing a lawsuit if they get hurt.

You can sign the paper, but it doesn't hold any weight since no one can legally waive negligence.

I like how #3 says you will hold the gym harmless, blah blah blah and then #6 says, in the event you do file a lawsuit...

I chuckled a little at that too.

I'm a cautious person, as I think someone who enjoys climbing must be (to a certain extent), and I hate signing things that seem so one-sided. One of the things I was wondering is if anyone here has ever called BS on one of these clauses, crossed it out, or had the extremely unfortunate experience of needing to contest one of these silly waivers.

It's one of the less savory aspects of the US. In Greece I went out for three awesome days of climbing with a pro guide; no waiver. I trekked into a deep, massive, and dangerous cave; no waiver.

No mention of waiving anything ever. They taught you how to be safe, and then made sure you were safe. So different here in the States ...


USnavy


Oct 12, 2012, 2:34 PM
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Re: [vinnie83] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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vinnie83 wrote:
I like how #3 says you will hold the gym harmless, blah blah blah and then #6 says, in the event you do file a lawsuit...
It's just standard lawyerly talk. The idea is that the attorney that drafted that waver is trying to create a catch-all omnishield for the gym. S/he wrote it in a manner to try to make it as hard as possible to sue. Sometimes parts of contracts can be deemed void by law. That is why it says "you agree not to sue" but then says "if you do sue." The idea is that if the "you agree not to sue" part of the contract is voided by a judge, they hope the "if you do sue" part still remains enforceable. Generally after the "if you do sue" part comes a "you wave your right to a trial by jury" statement. The idea with that statement is the attorney that drafted the waver knows that a jury is likely going to be more empathetic towards a gym climber who got hurt than a judge will. A judge will just look at the law and see how the circumstances surrounding the incident fit within the law. They are also trying to limit your options. The defendant can always request a trial by jury, but if the plaintiff is limited to only a trial by the judge, the defense can choose whichever options best suits their objectives. Again, they are just trying to reduce the chances of you wining a suit anyway they can.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Oct 12, 2012, 2:44 PM)


shockabuku


Oct 12, 2012, 8:12 PM
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Re: [TimeSpiral] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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Standard gym waivers basically say 'if you die or get hurt for any reason, even shit that's really our fault, we're not liable'. Take it or leave it.

I think with basic attention to the equipment and being moderately safety conscious I'll probably be fine. But there's always some risk; life is like that.


DemolitionRed


Oct 13, 2012, 7:14 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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I agree with what most others are saying here.
I don't know a great deal about American law but I'm fairly sure that the majority of that sort of waiver is worthless.
Someone said, its in the hope that 'stupid people' will read it and think they can't claim.

That being said, I think that because you live in a suing society and because every business going is terrified of being sued, these waivers, silly as they are, are to be expected.
In England health and safety is unreasonably high because everyone is ready to sue someone.
My child was at a birthday party recently when one of the boys tripped over a toy and cracked his front tooth. His parents are now suing the parents of the party boy because they should of been watching the children more carefully.
A beautiful little river in middle England has been closed to bathers because someone cut their foot on some broken glass and are suing the council. I swam in that river as a child and my parents and grandparents before me but now its deemed too risky to allow my child to swim in it. Crazy

I live for the most part in France where suing isn't the done thing. English and American culture looks for people to blame. The French culture tends to shrug its shoulders and say, 'you should of been more careful' and that is why in France we have outdoor climbing walls and via ferattas that are totally unsupervised and a little sign saying, only use this wall/via feratta if you have all the correct (list) equipment and the relevant experience.


USnavy


Oct 13, 2012, 1:20 PM
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Re: [DemolitionRed] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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DemolitionRed wrote:
My child was at a birthday party recently when one of the boys tripped over a toy and cracked his front tooth. His parents are now suing the parents of the party boy because they should of been watching the children more carefully.
Hmm, it sounds like contract killers might be in high demand in your area.


guangzhou


Oct 13, 2012, 11:40 PM
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Re: [DemolitionRed] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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DemolitionRed wrote:
I agree with what most others are saying here.
I don't know a great deal about American law but I'm fairly sure that the majority of that sort of waiver is worthless.
Someone said, its in the hope that 'stupid people' will read it and think they can't claim.

That being said, I think that because you live in a suing society and because every business going is terrified of being sued, these waivers, silly as they are, are to be expected.
In England health and safety is unreasonably high because everyone is ready to sue someone.
My child was at a birthday party recently when one of the boys tripped over a toy and cracked his front tooth. His parents are now suing the parents of the party boy because they should of been watching the children more carefully.
A beautiful little river in middle England has been closed to bathers because someone cut their foot on some broken glass and are suing the council. I swam in that river as a child and my parents and grandparents before me but now its deemed too risky to allow my child to swim in it. Crazy

I live for the most part in France where suing isn't the done thing. English and American culture looks for people to blame. The French culture tends to shrug its shoulders and say, 'you should of been more careful' and that is why in France we have outdoor climbing walls and via ferattas that are totally unsupervised and a little sign saying, only use this wall/via feratta if you have all the correct (list) equipment and the relevant experience.


Where in France? My wife and I will most likely retire there.

Most likely southern France, but undecided.


herites


Oct 14, 2012, 4:29 AM
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Re: [TimeSpiral] Rock Climbing Gym Waiver - WTF?! [In reply to]
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Their equipment may "malfunction" and they aren't responsible for it? WTF is this shit, seriously? Dunno if it's common in the US, but no way that I'd be climbing in a gym which doesn't take responsibility for it's own gear (or employees giving bad advice)


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