Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Release From Liability Form Upheld in Poconos Snow Tubing Case

In his recent decision in the case of Dunlap v. Davenport v. The Villas at Tree Tops and Fairway, PICS Case No. 14-0883 (Monroe Co. April 28, 2014 Williamson, J.), Judge David Williamson of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas upheld a release from liability form containing an exculpatory clause signed by a Plaintiff relative to the Plaintiff's participation in snow tubing at the Fernwood Hotel and Resort in the Poconos.  

The court found that the release form was a proper contract between the parties and that the Plaintiff was free to go snow tubing elsewhere or simply not go at all.  

The court also rejected the Plaintiff’s contentions that the release form should be deemed to be unenforceable in that it had extremely small printing with all of the writing on a single page.  

The court additionally rejected the Plaintiff’s contention that there was no evidence that the Plaintiff had read and understood the release terms that protected the Defendant from liability arising out of the snow tubing activities.  

The court otherwise rejected an argument that the release form violated Pennsylvania public policy.  

Judge David Williamson
Monroe County
Overall, because the release form was found to be a valid contractual agreement between the parties, Judge Williamson granted the Defendant’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on the personal injury claim.  

The court additionally dismissed the husband’s loss of consortium claim as that claim was derivative of, and dependent upon, the wife’s personal injury claim.  

I do not have a copy of this one.  Anyone desiring a copy of this case may contact the Pennsylvania Instant Case Service of the Pennsylvania Law Weekly by calling 1-800-276-7427 and providing the above noted PICS Case No. along with a payment of a small fee.  

Source: "Case Digests," Pennsylvania Law Weekly (June 2014).

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