Release, Waiver, and Assumption of Risk for Cycling Incident – Summary Judgment Affirmed

Pitzer Snodgrass Lawyers: Peter Dunne and Bob Plunkert

Our Client: City of Chesterfield, Missouri

Venue: St. Louis County Circuit Court, appeal to Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District

Plaintiff Steven Glazer filed a personal injury case in St. Louis County Circuit Court alleging the City of Chesterfield was negligent regarding alleged surface hazards on the roadway during a Pedal for the Cause event.  The Plaintiff executed a one-page “Waiver” before the event, which provided the following:

I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT BY SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT, I AM ASSUMING RISKS. . . I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT CYCLING IS AN INHERENTLY DANGEROUS SPORT AND FULLY REALIZE THE DANGERS OF PARTICIPATING IN THE EVENT, whether as a rider, official, coach, mechanic, volunteer, or otherwise, and FULLY ASSUME THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SUCH PARTICIPATION INCLUDING, by way of example, and not limitation, dangers associated with man made and natural jumps; the dangers of collision with pedestrians, vehicles, other riders, and fixed or moving objects; the dangers arising from surface hazards, including pot holes, equipment failure, inadequate safety equipment, use of equipment or materials provided by the event organizer and others, THE RELEASEES’ OWN NEGLIGENCE, the negligence of others and weather conditions; and the possibility of serious physical and/or mental trauma or injury, or death associated with the event.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I HEREBY WAIVE, RELEASE, DISCHARGE, HOLD HARMLESS, AND PROMISE TO INDEMNIFY AND NOT TO SUE the Releasees and all sponsors, organizers and promoting organizations, property owners, law enforcement agencies, public entities, special districts and properties that are in any manner connected with this event, and their respective agents, officials, and employees through or by which the event will be held, (the foregoing are also collectively deemed to be Releasees), FROM ANY AND ALL RIGHTS AND CLAIMS, INCLUDING CLAIMS ARISING FROM THE RELEASEES’ OWN NEGLIGENCE TO THE MEXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, which I have or which may hereafter accrue to me and from any and all damages which may be sustained directly or indirectly in connection with, or arising out of, my participation in or association with the event, or travel to or return from the event.

The St. Louis County Circuit Court entered an order granting Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment on the grounds of release, waiver, express assumption of the risk, and implied assumption of the risk.  Plaintiff appealed the matter to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District.  After oral argument was held in the John K. Pruellage Courtroom at the Saint Louis University School of Law, the Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court.

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