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‘At your own risk’ – are disclaimers of liability ever valid?
Disclaimers are an ever-present feature of life. You may well have signs around your park and terms in your standard terms and conditions to this effect: “I understand that [the Park] is not liable for any injury or damage howsoever caused and that I use these premises/facilities at my own risk”. Typical locations for disclaimer signs include leisure facilities such as swimming pools, recreation areas, parking areas and restaurants or cafés.
There is a basic legal principle however that you can never disclaim liability for injury or death caused by negligence. Many people try it anyway, just for the deterrent effect, but they may not appreciate that an attempt at disclaiming is potentially a criminal offence. Although liability for injury or death caused by negligence cannot be disclaimed, damage to property on the other hand can be excluded subject to certain rules and I will be explaining what these are and writing in more detail about disclaimers in the next issue of Parklaw.
For advice on liability and drafting of effective Disclaimers and Standard Terms & Conditions or Employment Contracts and Policies contact Jill Headford on 01392 207020 or email@example.com.