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Colorado Revised Statutes 13-22-107 (Parents Right to Sign away a Minor’s Right to Sue

COLORADO REVISED STATUTES

TITLE 13. COURTS AND COURT PROCEDURE

CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS

ARTICLE 22. AGE OF COMPETENCE – ARBITRATION – MEDIATION

PART 1. AGE OF COMPETENCE – TRANSPLANT AND TRANSFUSION LIMITATION

C.R.S. 13-22-107 (2012)

13-22-107. Legislative declaration – definitions – children – waiver by parent of prospective negligence claims

(1) (a) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares it is the public policy of this state that:

(I) Children of this state should have the maximum opportunity to participate in sporting, recreational, educational, and other activities where certain risks may exist;

(II) Public, private, and non-profit entities providing these essential activities to children in Colorado need a measure of protection against lawsuits, and without the measure of protection these entities may be unwilling or unable to provide the activities;

(III) Parents have a fundamental right and responsibility to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children. The law has long presumed that parents act in the best interest of their children.

(IV) Parents make conscious choices every day on behalf of their children concerning the risks and benefits of participation in activities that may involve risk;

(V) These are proper parental choices on behalf of children that should not be ignored. So long as the decision is voluntary and informed, the decision should be given the same dignity as decisions regarding schooling, medical treatment, and religious education; and

(VI) It is the intent of the general assembly to encourage the affordability and availability of youth activities in this state by permitting a parent of a child to release a prospective negligence claim of the child against certain persons and entities involved in providing the opportunity to participate in the activities.

(b) The general assembly further declares that the Colorado supreme court’s holding in case number 00SC885, 48 P.3d 1229 (Colo. 2002), has not been adopted by the general assembly and does not reflect the intent of the general assembly or the public policy of this state.

(2) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Child” means a person under eighteen years of age.

(b) For purposes of this section only, “parent” means a parent, as defined in section 19-1-103 (82), C.R.S., a person who has guardianship of the person, as defined in section 19-1-103 (60), C.R.S., a person who has legal custody, as defined in section 19-1-103 (73), C.R.S., a legal representative, as defined in section 19-1-103 (73.5), C.R.S., a physical custodian, as defined in section 19-1-103 (84), C.R.S., or a responsible person, as defined in section 19-1-103 (94), C.R.S.

(3) A parent of a child may, on behalf of the child, release or waive the child’s prospective claim for negligence.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit a parent acting on behalf of his or her child to waive the child’s prospective claim against a person or entity for a willful and wanton act or omission, a reckless act or omission, or a grossly negligent act or omission.

HISTORY: Source: L. 2003: Entire section added, p. 1721, § 1, effective May 14.

ANNOTATION

Law Reviews. For article, “Recreational Waivers in Colorado: Playing at Your Own Risk“, see 32 Colo. Law. 77 (August 2003).

Section may not be applied retrospectively to cause of action accruing prior to its effective date. Absent express legislative intent to the contrary, a statute is presumed to apply only prospectively. Pollock v. Highlands Ranch Cmty. Ass’n, 140 P.3d 351 (Colo. App. 2006).

Where registration form made no reference to the relevant activity or to waiving personal injury claims, the form is legally insufficient to release plaintiff’s personal injury claims. Wycoff v. Grace Cmty. Church, 251 P.3d 1260 (Colo. App. 2010).

Applied in Hamill v. Cheley Colo. Camps, Inc., 262 P.3d 945 (Colo. App. 2011).

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