Many people believe that signing a release before participating in an activity is not binding. That is simply not true. These “exculpatory clauses” are effective and can bar a claim even if otherwise valid. Sanislo v. Give Kids the World, Inc., 40 FLW S79 (February 12, 2015).
It is ironic that such a decision was made on the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday.
Gillette v. All Pro Sports, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2573 (5th DCA, December 6, 2013) deals with signing a release before the actual injury occurs. Many people believe that these releases are not valid. They are 100 percent wrong. If the release is properly drafted, it bars many claims. However, clauses that purport to deny an injured party the right to recover damages from another who negligently causes the injuries must contain wording that is so clear and understandable that an ordinary and knowledgeable person would know that he or she is contracting his or her rights away.