The Enforceability of Pre-Injury Releases
Brian Carney, president of Scuba Diving International and Technical Diving International, announced today that changes to Florida law will have ramifications for ALL diving professionals in Florida and “potentially in other states too.”
Reading from a Law Alert distributed by Luks, Santaniello a Florida-based insurance defense firm, Carney said: “The Florida legislature enacted a substantial amendment to Section 744.301, Florida Statutes on April 24, 2010. This new legislation reverses the Kirton decision which held that parents and guardians cannot execute enforceable pre-injury releases on behalf of minors in commercial activities. The new law now allows parents and natural guardians to effectively execute pre-injury releases for their minor children, but only for those dangers inherent in the activity. The decision does not apply retroactively. The statute does not shield commercial owners and operators from injury caused by their own negligence.”
Carney went on to add that SDI, TDI is currently working with its legal council to decide how best to implement modifications to waivers with regards to training minors in the state of Florida.
“As always, we will work out what changes to documentation and business practices this new amendment may dictate for our professional members in the State of Florida or elsewhere.”
He wrapped up by reminding SDI and TDI members that until further notification, they must continue to use and execute existing SDI and TDI waivers and releases as they have always been used.
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