View Full Version : Enter at own risk
05-05-2010, 06:00 PM
Larry I have an article for the next issue. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK does this being posted really limit responsibility? I'm thinking not because if there were an accident or something happened this could not remove the liability from the haunt owner. Can you find out for sure
05-05-2010, 06:41 PM
WE use a sign at the ticket booth with a list of disclaimers. We did have a couple of people file an insurance claim and my insurance company won both cases because of the sign. You can also put it on the back of the ticket or I have seen some haunts make the customers sign a disclaimer before entering.......
05-05-2010, 08:14 PM
John, would you mind displaying a picture of that disclaimer that you post.
05-05-2010, 08:17 PM
Honestly, talk to ANY lawyer... signs like this don't mean squat. If something bad DID happen... that business/haunt will be held responsible! Simple as that. -Tyler
05-05-2010, 08:29 PM
We post the disclaimer/rules/Enter at Own Risk signs also...
I have also heard what Tyler said, that it doesn't mean squat or help in a lawsuit.
I am glad, John, to hear it helped you! :)
05-05-2010, 09:17 PM
I have to disagree with Tyler. You have to prove negligence. I have several rent properties and have owned restaurants. If you as a owner do everything in your power to make things safe you will not be held responsible. I have also trained horses and have given many lessons, they ride at their own risk. I have never had a problem with this. Now if I put an inexperienced rider on a horse that needed a more experienced rider well, I would be held responsible if that rider got hurt. Anyone can sue anyone for anything. That does not mean that they will win. As haunt owners we do carry insurance, that is what it is there for, protection. That is my 2 cents.
05-05-2010, 09:31 PM
If it helps at all...
You guys should see the size of the disclaimer/waiver on the online tickets for The Beast and The Edge of Hell. And those are two of the biggest, best haunts in the country.
Does that mean anything? I don't know. haha.
05-05-2010, 10:06 PM
I have posted on my ranch waivers that say explicitly that horses can be dangerous and that you ride at your own risk. As long as you have something posted on a ticket or on a board, somewhere where they can see and read it then you have been responsible. Hey, lawyers are out to make money by taking a case, any case. They will tell you that you can sue anyone at anytime for anything, Hey I want my 80% if we win! and 50% if we lose. Right?
05-05-2010, 10:15 PM
Our ticket is a sticky ticky with disclaimer, also allowing us the right to use their photographic image if we wish (like in court!)
Ski lodgers have to wear those disclaimer lift tickets and on a busy weekend at the ski lodge I have seen numerous broken leggers being drug up the slope, screaming in pain, if the lodge had to pay for all those legs I can't see how they could stay open.
But of course if you listen to the news on a regular basis you know that somewhere a lawyer is waiting to sue the fuzz off a peach. At least he will file the papers.
Of course if you wish to avoid such problems operate your house with tour guides, leading and following. Keep the drunks out of your place. Don't chase customers, infact ban all running. Put up signs to this promoting this end result. ("NO RUNNING!")
Customers are less likely to vandalise your stuff if they feel they were given a show worth what they paid to see it.
05-06-2010, 03:17 AM
Talk to any Ohio lawyer and he will tell you its absolutely required.
Better yet, talk to any "insurance company lawyer".
Might not mean squat in Kentucky, which is hard to believe, but in Ohio its means more then squat.
Are you saying you post nothing?
Taking a big big chance on that one.
Just stating my experience. Whenever I get a claim/sued I hand it right over to the insurance company and I do not have another worry. They handle it entirely and that sign saved us period.
I dont think an insurance company will cover your attraction unless you have one.
To NOT post any rules and/or disclaimers just seems foolish to me. Common sense folks.......
Its one of the first things the judge will ask......
Tell the judge you didnt think the sign meant squat..so you did not display one. Lets see how far that gets you.....
Why do the largest attractions in the country have them?? Are they wasting time on squat??? Again........ common sense people.
You cant even take your clothes to the dry cleaner without a disclaimer on they are not responsible for what happens to your clothes.
Send me a pm with your e mail and I will send it to you, its a PDF file.
05-06-2010, 09:36 AM
We do post something up plus we have a "disclaimer" on our tickets. BUT... Here the way a judge will see it is everything should have been safe and compliant in order to pass inspections... anything after than could be
claimed as negligence on behalf of the owners. All they see is.. "It was safe at this time to pass inspections... why isn't safe now!?"... So, in SOME cases, yes... those signs don't mean squat.
It's the same case as when McDonalds was sued (and lost) by that man who burnt himself on the coffee... when the cup CLEARLY said "CAUTION: Very Hot!"... I don't know how they lost this case but they did!
John, I sent you an email!
05-06-2010, 10:18 AM
In New Zealand , that unless someone is extremely criminally negligent and causes extreme harm to another, there are no lawsuits. The government pays for health care and I guess picks up the bill for the person's down-time they can't work.
On the flip side of this if you hire someone they can only work for you for just a few days before they achieve status as a full time employee which means if you want to fire them after that the employer has to go before a government board and state his case and then the government board decides whether or not you can fire them.
So work like a demon for 3 or 4 days then...coast?
05-06-2010, 10:43 AM
Signs can you help your case as some have said if a claim is involved. Not always, but sometimes. I should know I'm a licensed insurance agent. However, that does not prevent someone from suing you. Anyone can sue you for any reason. If they will win the case or not, that is a different story. Depends on the jury and the law. Also depends on if they can prove negligence. In most cases no. It's usually something stupid the customer did (like running) that got them hurt. Moral of the story post your rules plainly for all to see so there can be no questions.
Now as far as signing a waiver goes. (I can't believe there are haunts that still do this). This is one of those things everyone thinks will save them if someone gets hurt. Folks, it's an insurance URBAN LEGEND! I don't know who started doing this? Maybe the Jaycee's back in the day? It wouldn't hold up in court today.
A waiver is a LEGAL binding document. No minor can enter into a legal binding contract within most of the United States. So all those under the age of 18 automatically null and void. What of those adults 18 and up? Well they can sign any name they please? Are you checking id's at the door and having someone, a legal notary verify and sign it? Then again, not enforceable. You are wasting time and ink.
As far as the McDonald's lawsuit is concerned we all get up in arms over how frivolous it was. Here are some facts:
The plaintiff was an 81 year old woman. She had never sued anyone in her lifetime and only sued because McDonald's would not cover her medical bills. McDonald's at the time (to keep the coffee warmer longer) knowingly kept the temp. at 185 degrees (20 degree's hotter than all other restaurants). Third degree burns occur at this temp. Their Q&A team was aware of the temp and did nothing about it internally. She had 3rd degree burns on her butt, lap, and groin area that required skin grafts and a 7 day hospital stay. The jury is the one who awarded the 2.7 million dollar award. After all was said and done the payment amount was lowered on appeal to $480,000. I don't think she set out to make an example of McDonald's. She only wanted her medical bills covered due to their negligence.
Bottom line....post your rules plainly, make sure you go over them with everyone before entering, keep your security cams rolling and keep em safe!
05-06-2010, 11:22 AM
I see your point, and I do agree with you. Lets face it...When it comes to a court case even If you are totally in the right and have all the proof does not mean you will win.
Its up to what judge/jury you get and the mood their in.
I guess we were lucky enough that it did work. But you never know. It just a good way to show you did try to warn everyone and were taking every precaution to be safe..
05-06-2010, 11:48 AM
Every state has different laws about rider responsibility. You have no defense when you do not provide the rider/guest with warnings about your attraction. Look at Universal Studios to every single park around the country they have warning signs in front of every single ride.
We post warning signs on our website, on the ticket, huge signs before they can enter, on the ticket price menu, and more signs along they way as you wait to enter the attraction.
I advice all haunted houses to go to every limit to warn customers about strobe lights to dark environment, fog, people who suffer from heart ailments, pregnant or whatever.
Feel free to read our warning on Scarefest.com
05-06-2010, 11:51 AM
McDonalds case very interesting because I know more facts about that... it was discovered that McDonalds was heating their coffee to a higher temp because they found they could stretch the beans longer and save millions upon millions of dollars. The lady had 3rd degree burns on her face and chest. From what I understand McDonalds went back to brewing their coffee at a lower temp a safer one. Larry
05-06-2010, 07:33 PM
Signs are a must may not help but cant hurt.What about in Spanish?We have more and more that don't speak English come thru each year.How many post bilingual signs?
PAT MATTHEWS/HOUSE OF WAX
05-06-2010, 09:04 PM
I have heard this discussed several times before. I would assume it is certainly not a substitue for insurance but wouldnt hurt to have posted. I once had an Insurance agent tell me that they will only deal with a claim only after a suit is filed. My response to that is I could have saved $2000 and just told some one to f off myself for free
Front Yard Fright
05-06-2010, 09:09 PM
Even though I've heard they don't do much good, I still make sure to post multiple signs out front of our haunt. We also make sure to post the warnings such as fog is in use, strobe lights, and all that.
Like others have said... It' doesn't hurt!
05-09-2010, 01:52 PM
ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!
WATCH YOUR STEP!
XTREMECREATORS HAUNTED GROUND RULES
HAUNTED GROUNDS ARE VERY DARK AND HAS UNEVEN GROUND,FLAMES,TUNNELS & STROBES.
HAUNTED GROUNDS ARE NOT RECOMMENDED FOR ANYONE WITH:
PREGNANCY,SHORTNESS OF BREATH, PACE MAKERS,HEART PROBLEMS, EPILEPSY OR IF YOU HAVE BACK,KNEE,ANKLE,NECK OR HAVE ANY OTHER HEALTH ISSUES.
SCENES ARE GRAPHIC AND ARE NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN TEN AND UNDER
FOR YOUR SAFETY AND CONCERNS FOR ALL OTHER GUESTS, THE FOLLWOING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED:
RUNNING, PUSHING, HORSEPLAY, VANDALISM, ALCOHOL OR DRUGS, WEAPONS
OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE, UNSAFE ACTIONS OF ANY KND, INTIMIDATING OTHERS
THE POLICE DEPARTMENT WILL BE ON THE PROPERTY AT ALL TIMES FOR YOUR SAFETY
ANYONE CAUSING TROUBLE OF ANY KIND WILL BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW
ANYONE DESTROYING ANY PROPERTY OR ANYTHING ON THE GROUNDS WILL PAY FOR DAMAGES
AND BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW
YOU CAN BE FINED UP TO $10,000 IF YOU ARE CAUGHT SMOKING, LIGHTING A LIGHTER OR MATCHES ON THE HAUNTED GROUNDS
ANYONE NOT FOLLOWING THE ABOVE RULES WIL BE ESCORTED OFF OF THE PROPERTY IMMEDIATELY
XTREME CREATORS LLC ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY PERSONAL INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE
By Buying Your Ticket to the Haunted Attraction You agree to all RULES and WARNINGS and Understand that you are ENTERING UNDER YOUR OWN RISK!
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