Many activities require participants to sign a release in which the participant waives the right to recover damages for any injuries sustained during the activity. As such, even if an entity’s negligence causes a participant harm, he or she may not be able to recover compensation. If a release is ambiguous, however, a person may still be able to pursue damages.
This was illustrated in a recent case decided by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, in which the court denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s negligence claim, where the terms of the release were unclear. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should confer with a seasoned Massachusetts personal injury attorney to formulate a plan to help you pursue compensation.
Facts Surrounding the Plaintiff’s Injury
It is alleged that the plaintiff was a patron of one of the defendant’s yoga studios. She signed up for training classes, and prior to the classes signed a participation agreement and release of liability. During one training session, the plaintiff used a metal frame stackable chair. When the session was over, the plaintiff folded the chair, lifted it over her head, and carried it to the area of the room where the chairs were stacked. Allegedly, one of the defendant’s employees grabbed the chair without warning, which caused the chair to swing and strike the plaintiff in the head. The blow caused the plaintiff to sustain a concussion. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging she suffered damages due to the negligence of the defendant and its employees. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that there was no negligence and the release precluded liability regardless. The court denied the defendant’s motion.