My son is playing little league baseball. They are asking me to sign a waiver of injury liability. Do I have to sign this?

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Question:  My child’s baseball league requires that we sign a waiver of liability in the event that my child is injured. Does this mean that no matter what, if my child is hurt I cannot hold the league liable?

Response: Typically, waiver of liability forms are designed to prevent sports leagues from being sued in the event that a participant is injured while participating in the sport. These forms, in essence, state your understanding that you are aware of the risk your child is subject to in playing the sport, and as such you assume the risk of your child participating in the sport league.  In this instance, a waiver form will prevent the league from being held liable if your child were injured while playing in the baseball, such as being hit by a pitch or being injured in the field of play.

However, these liability forms are not always ironclad. If you child was hurt based on the negligent conduct of the sports league, you may be able to overcome a waiver of liability claim made by the league. Furthermore, if you child was injured as a result of conduct that is not typically associated with the sport, such as your child being assaulted by another player or coach, you may also have a claim against that individual and perhaps the league as well.

Hopefully, when signing these forms, you’ll never have to deal with any of the possible consequences. However, if your child becomes injured because of activity not normally associated with the sport, or the injury is a result of negligence on the league, it would be recommended that you speak with an attorney to assess whether or not you could make a claim against the league, despite the liability waiver form.

Answered by Bert Gonzalez

Resource:  National Federation of State High School Associations involving waivers

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