Two reasons why you want the release to be upheld in court

1.    Because you want to support release law

2.    Because idiots, or better drunk idiots should not be able to sue.

The New York Daily News is reporting two individuals have filed suit against a Manhattan bar, Johnny Utah’sover injuries they received when they were

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thrown from a mechanical bull.

See Woman tossed from bull ride sues NY restaurant, Mechanical Bull Suit Goes To Court, Raging bull rider suing restaurant and Johnny Utah’s slapped with second lawsuit over mechanical ‘menace’.

You first have to overcome the issue of a “cowboy bar’ in Manhattan. If that bothers you definitely don’t go the bar’s website, the theme from old spaghetti’s westerns and cows mooing alone will crack you up…..or at least those of us who live in the west. But then you realize it is just a bar that has held onto a theme….for twenty years. Urban Cowboy?

The first patron is claiming that the bar should not have allowed him to ride the bull inebriated. Of course it is a bar where most people go to drink and become inebriated. The suit describes the bull as a “danger” because it lacks the “proper safeguards and padding to break falls.” The writer describes the bull as “furry with padded horns.”

Another article describes the second rider suing claiming “”assault and battery” because she was allowed to ride the bull at Johnny Utah’s in Rockefeller Center.”

So why am I writing about these lawsuits. Not a lot of outdoor recreation in New York City that most of my articles are about. However in both cases the patrons signed a release before climbing on the “dangerous beast.” New York law is always tricky at best because of General Obligation Law § 5-326 Releases not valid in places of amusement for a fee. This statute states that releases are void if the signor paid a fee to enjoy the amusement. Here the issue will be did the bar charge to ride the bull or to get through the door.

Releases are also interpreted narrowly and that interpretation varies based on the court. See Case Brief: New York upholds release for negligence claim with purchase of paraglider, Poorly crafted release and court’s interpretation of certification dooms defendant, Case Brief: New York Court Invalidates Release Lacking Clear Language, and NY State Law Does Not Prohibit Releases in All Cases.

Someplace there is a cowboy in Wyoming picking him or herself up off the ground after being violently thrown from a real bull with real horns who is mean or maybe just mad and who landed on hard dirt. No padded horns, no padded landing area just doing what real cowboys do. Oh, and no release because real cowboys assume the risk and cowboy up.


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