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Liability release

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by OldNSalty, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. OldNSalty

    OldNSalty Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Just this side of paradise.
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    This release strikes me as onerous to the point where I wonder why he feels he needs this level of protection. There is even a section in there asserting that I am waving my family's right to sue if I am killed. Like I said, I am all for being responsible for me but I don't think I should be responsible for him. I sent him an email telling him that I would need to make certain changes before proceeding. I suspect that will end our business arrangement.
     
  2. Wookie

    Wookie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor Staff Member ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    In no state except Florida may you waive someone else's right to sue, and that is only your minor child. This release seems a bit onerous. I wonder if he made it himself or had a lawyer draw it up?
     
  3. MargaritaMike

    MargaritaMike Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: SE Texas
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    I just encountered a similar release here in Cozumel. I'm curious as to how this release stands up on foreign soil when it involves another nationality. Any input anyone?

    Cheers - M²
     
  4. OldNSalty

    OldNSalty Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Just this side of paradise.
    2,351
    813
    113
    I suspect the nationality of the signers is not relevant. The legality would de determined by the country you signed it in and executed what ever activity it was covering....at least that would be my assumption.
     
  5. Wookie

    Wookie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor Staff Member ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Divided further by state. Florida is considered to be very release friendly. Texas too. It may have to do with the deep south and far north (rural areas) feeling that what you sign actually reflects how you feel. New Jersey and California? Not so much, as "activist judges" may feel the need to protect you from yourself. I'm not making a judgement, but it seems that releases are not even allowed in court as exhibits on the coasts. YMMV.
     
  6. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy Staff Member

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    6,512
    3,229
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    It wouldn't surprise me to see a release with some provision a lawyer included knowing full well that that particular provision is unenforceable in all or most states. There's almost certainly another provision in it somewhere that says something along the lines of "even if a provision is found unenforceable, the remaining provisions still apply."

    Anyway, you answered the OP's question in your first reply: waiving claims for simple negligence is exactly what liability waivers do.
     
  7. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy Staff Member

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    6,512
    3,229
    113
    I think OldNSalty is correct that YOUR nationality doesn't matter.

    If the lawyer who wrote the release is worth two pesos, there should be a provision in it somewhere that specifies what country's law applies--probably Mexico's. If it doesn't, then from what I recall there is a whole semester-long law school class on arguments over what country's laws should apply in international cases. My guess is that if you were in Mexico when you signed it, and the dive op is Mexican, and the release is for diving you're doing in Mexico, then Mexican law applies.
     
  8. TrimixToo

    TrimixToo Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York State
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    I've signed I don't know how many of these things. Perhaps uncharacteristically, I read every one of them from start to finish. I'm not a lawyer, but I do work with contracts in my job from time to time. Rarely do I find anything I deem both enforceable and unreasonable, but there is certainly a lot of chaff in some of them.

    But here's the thing. My wife and kids (now adults) understand and agree about the basics if something bad happens to me. Hurt or kill me driving the boat through your action or inaction, and it's your fault. From the time I leave the boat until the time I am back aboard, it's my fault. DCS is *always* my fault. There's a grey area in there for being hurt and on the surface, I suppose, but if I'm watching what I'm doing that should not occur either inbound or outbound unless you run me over or start the prop moving while I'm near it, so most of those fall on my side of the line. Something like hitting a container at night (as I know happened to one boat) is a no-fault. I agreed to go when I knew the boat would be operating at night. Do-do occurs.

    Those are pretty clear boundaries to me, and I know my family won't go to court on my side of those boundaries. On your side of the line, it won't matter what I signed if I'm dead. It will depend entirely on how they feel about what happened and, if they think they should go after you, what the lawyer thinks.

    That said, I have *never* sailed with a captain I found irresponsible, and if I ever do it will be the only time I sail with that captain.

    Just my 2 PSIG.
     

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