Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pennsylvania Superior Court Addresses Waiver Form and Assumption of Risk Defense in Context of College Football Injuries



In its recent decision in the case of Feleccia v. Lackawanna College, No. 2017 Pa.Super. 44 (Pa.Super. Feb. 24, 2017 Ford Elliott, P.J.E., Shogan, J., and Stevens, P.J.E.)(Op. by Shogan, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court was faced with the issue whether two junior college students who were injured at a preseason football practice were barred from recovering against the college because both signed waivers of liability prior to their injuries.

The Superior Court reversed the trial court's entry of summary judgment.  With regards to the waiver form, the appellate court found that issues of fact precluded the entry of summary judgment.  The court noted, in part, that issues of fact on whether the defendants had acted with gross negligence or recklessly under the case presented raised a question of whether the waiver form was sufficient to preclude a finding of liability against the defendants.

The appellate court also recognized the continuing validity of the assumption of risk defense under Pennsylvania law but found that issues of fact precluded the entry of summary judgment under that doctrine as well.

Anyone wishing to review this decision online may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Andrew Motel for bringing this decision to my attention. 

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