A new law has been passed that prevents Florida attractions from being sued by customers.
The legislation (SB 2440) is designed to overturn a December 2008 state Supreme Court ruling that invalidated parental waivers, which have long been used by businesses around the state that cater to children. That court-ruling sparked a two-year battle between the business lobby and plaintiff’s lawyers about whether to restore such waivers — and whether those waivers should protect companies only from lawsuits in which an accident was caused by the “inherent risk” of an activity or from accidents also caused by a company’s negligence.
The ‘inherent risk’ standard is less strict than California’s ‘common carrier’ standard, but it’s still not exactly what the parks were looking for.
I’m happy with this move. Theme parks should be protected from lawsuits where the normal ‘safe’ operations of an attraction aggravated a pre-existing condition. But they shouldn’t be protected where an attraction mal-functions, fails due to neglect or poor operations, or is designed poorly.
I think most attractions can do a better job of explaining the inherent risk of their attractions. This law may not result in that as Lawyers will be hesitant to define what the inherent risks are for fear of excluding something.
What remains to be seen is will this result in a lowering of age requirements for attractions where a waiver is required. Which was the whole point of this thing in the first place.
(via the Orlando Sentinel)