Just mummify your kids with bubble wrap and stick them in the corner.

This is disgusting. Absolutely repulsive, on the part of the parents, their lawyer, and the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The Woodmans contracted with “Bounce Party” to use their inflatable play equipment facilities for their son’s fifth birthday party. Before the party, Mr. Woodman signed a waiver on behalf of his son, releasing Bounce Party from any liability for personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death caused by playing on the play equipment, an activity Bounce Party characterized as containing “some element of personal risk.”

During the party, the Woodmans’ son jumped from the top of a slide and broke his leg. The Woodmans sued, alleging among other things, negligence on the part of Bounce Party.

Sounds like an open and shut case to me… They were made aware that the activity contained risk of injury (possibly even death), they signed a waiver, the kid stupidly jumped off the top of the slide, which Bounce Party couldn’t possibly have stopped him from doing…

And when the case went to court, the judge agreed with me. Unfortunately, the family and/or lawyer decided to appeal. The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the decision.

a parent “has no authority merely by virtue of the parental relation to waive, release, or compromise claims of his or her child.” The court opined that public policy dictated that the need to protect the rights of a minor child is greater than the rights of a child’s parent to take action on behalf of the child. In so finding, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that “pre-injury waivers effectuated by parents on behalf of their minor children are not presumptively enforceable.”

So what’s this, then? If a child ever gets hurt, the child can sue. Which means nobody in their right mind will ever let a child do something potentially harmful, such as get on a swing set, monkey bars, or bouncey castle. Children can’t sign waivers because they aren’t of legal age, and now parents can’t sign them either. I’m getting real tired of our society’s tendency to “protect the children, at all costs”. The human race has gotten along fine for centuries without this kind of insanity.

(edited to insert link to source)

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  • Jay  On February 19, 2009 at 11:42 am

    The Appeals judges are imbeciles. The parents do have those rights. The child can’t waive his own rights because legally he cannot make those decisions.

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