A recent ruling by a New Jersey appellate court will allow a slip and fall case to move forward despite the fact that the plaintiff had signed a waiver disclaiming his right to sue. This decision could have far-reaching consequences for businesses in New Jersey that utilize waiver agreements.

Court Says Waivers Don’t Negate Common Law Duty of Care

Mary Pat Gallagher | New Jersey Law Journal

A man who claims he slipped on the stairs while headed from the pool can sue the YMCA for his injuries, despite the broad waiver he signed when he joined the health club, a state appeals court held on Aug. 18.

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NJ YMCA’s Hold Harmless Clause ‘Eviscerates’ Duty Of Care

Joshua Alston | Law360

A New Jersey appellate panel revived a former health club member’s personal injury suit against the facility, ruling Monday that its “hold harmless” clause doesn’t eliminate its common-law duty of care, but upbraiding the plaintiff’s counsel for failing to properly prepare the appellate brief.

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A Warning to Appellate Lawyers From Judge Fuentes 

Bruce D. Greenberg | New Jersey Appellate Law Blog

This decision by Judge Fuentes, issued today, reverses a grant of summary judgment in favor of the YMCA in what Judge Fuentes called a “garden variety slip and fall case.”

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The court’s belief that exculpatory agreements encourage a lack of care is outmoded, and does not recognize business realities. Businesses utilize exculpatory agreements to limit risk so that they are able to keep the prices charged to consumers lower, not because they want to shirk responsibilities.


NJCJI has put the case on our watch list. We will strongly consider filing an amicus brief if this case is appealed to the New Jersey supreme court.