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States that allow a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue

If your state is not listed here, you should assume a parent cannot waive a minor’s right to sue in your state.

State

By Statute Restrictions
Alaska Alaska: Sec. 09.65.292 Sec. 05.45.120 does not allow using a release by ski areas for ski injuries
Arizona ARS § 12-553 Limited to Equine Activities
Colorado C.R.S. §§13-22-107
Florida Florida Statute § 744.301 (3) Florida statute that allows a parent to release a minor’s right to sue
Virginia Chapter 62.  Equine Activity Liability § 3.2-6202.  Liability limited; liability actions prohibited Allows a parent to sign a release for a minor for equine activities
Utah 78B-4-203.  Limitations on Liability for Equine and Livestock Activities Limited to Equine Activities
(b) providing a document or release for the participant, or the participant’s legal guardian if the participant is a minor, to sign.
 

By Case Law

California Hohe v. San Diego Unified Sch. Dist., 224 Cal.App.3d 1559, 274 Cal.Rptr. 647 (1990)
Florida Global Travel Marketing, Inc v. Shea, 2005 Fla. LEXIS 1454 Allows a release signed by a parent to require arbitration of the minor’s claims
Florida Gonzalez v. City of Coral Gables, 871 So.2d 1067, 29 Fla. L. Weekly D1147 Release can be used for volunteer activities and by government entities
Maryland BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. v. Rosen, 435 Md. 714; 80 A.3d 345; 2013 Md. LEXIS 897 Maryland top court allows a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue. Release was not fantastic, but good enough.
Massachusetts Sharon v. City of Newton, 437 Mass. 99; 769 N.E.2d 738; 2002 Mass. LEXIS 384
Minnesota Moore vs. Minnesota Baseball Instructional School, 2009 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 299
North Dakota McPhail v. Bismarck Park District, 2003 ND 4; 655 N.W.2d 411; 2003 N.D. LEXIS 3 North Dakota decision allows a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue
Ohio Zivich v. Mentor Soccer Club, Inc., 696 N.E.2d 201, 82 Ohio St.3d 367 (1998) Ohio Appellate decision upholds the use of a release for a minor for a commercial activity
Wisconsin Osborn v. Cascade Mountain, Inc., 655 N.W.2d 546, 259 Wis. 2d 481, 2002 Wisc. App. LEXIS 1216, 2003 WI App 1 However the decision in Atkins v. Swimwest Family Fitness Center, 2005 WI 4; 2005 Wisc. LEXIS 2 may void all releases in the state
 

On the Edge, but not enough to really rely on

Decisions are by the Federal District Courts and only preliminary motions
North Carolina Kelly v. United States of America, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89741 North Carolina may allow a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue for injuries when the minor is engaged in non-profit activities sponsored by schools, volunteers, or community organizations
New York DiFrancesco v. Win-Sum Ski Corp., Holiday Valley, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39695 New York Federal Magistrate in a Motion in Limine, hearing holds the New York Skier Safety Statute allows a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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States that allow a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue

If your state is not listed here, you should assume a parent cannot waive a minor’s right to sue in your state.

State

By Statute

Restrictions

Alaska

Alaska: Sec. 09.65.292

Sec. 05.45.120 does not allow using a release by ski areas for ski injuries

Arizona

ARS § 12-553

Limited to Equine Activities

Colorado

C.R.S. §§13-22-107

 

Florida

Florida Statute § 744.301 (3)

Florida statute that allows a parent to release a minor’s right to sue

Virginia

Chapter 62.  Equine Activity Liability § 3.2-6202.  Liability limited; liability actions prohibited

Allows a parent to sign a release for a minor for equine activities

Utah

78B-4-203.  Limitations on Liability for Equine and Livestock Activities

Limited to Equine Activities
(b) providing a document or release for the participant, or the participant’s legal guardian if the participant is a minor, to sign.

 

By Case Law

 

California

Hohe v. San Diego Unified Sch. Dist., 224 Cal.App.3d 1559, 274 Cal.Rptr. 647 (1990)

 

Florida

Global Travel Marketing, Inc v. Shea, 2005 Fla. LEXIS 1454

Allows a release signed by a parent to require arbitration of the minor’s claims

Florida

Gonzalez v. City of Coral Gables, 871 So.2d 1067, 29 Fla. L. Weekly D1147

Release can be used for volunteer activities and by government entities

Massachusetts

Sharon v. City of Newton, 437 Mass. 99; 769 N.E.2d 738; 2002 Mass. LEXIS 384

 

Minnesota

Moore vs. Minnesota Baseball Instructional School, 2009 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 299

 

North Dakota

McPhail v. Bismarck Park District, 2003 ND 4; 655 N.W.2d 411; 2003 N.D. LEXIS 3

 

Ohio

Zivich v. Mentor Soccer Club, Inc., 696 N.E.2d 201, 82 Ohio St.3d 367 (1998)

 

Wisconsin

Osborn v. Cascade Mountain, Inc., 655 N.W.2d 546, 259 Wis. 2d 481, 2002 Wisc. App. LEXIS 1216, 2003 WI App 1

However the decision in Atkins v. Swimwest Family Fitness Center, 2005 WI 4; 2005 Wisc. LEXIS 2 may void all releases in the state

Maryland

BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. v. Rosen, 435 Md. 714; 80 A.3d 345; 2013 Md. LEXIS 897

Maryland top court allows a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue. Release was not fantastic, but good enough.

 

On the Edge, but not enough to really rely on

 

North Carolina

Kelly v. United States of America, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89741
Kelly , v. United States of America, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135289

Ruling is by the Federal District Court and only a preliminary motion
And final decision dismissing the case

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2011 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law, Recreation.Law@Gmail.com

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Ohio Ski Area Statutes

TITLE 41.  LABOR AND INDUSTRY

CHAPTER 4169.  SKI TRAMWAY BOARD

ORC Ann. 4169.10  (2007)

§ 4169.01. Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(A)“Skier” means any person who is using the facilities of a ski area, including, but not limited to, the ski slopes and ski trails, for the purpose of skiing, which includes, without limitation, sliding or jumping on snow or ice on skis, a snowboard, sled, tube, snowbike, toboggan, or any other device.

(B)“Passenger” means any person who is being transported or conveyed by a passenger tramway.

(C)“Ski slopes” or “ski trails” means those sites that are reserved or maintained and are open for use, as designated by a ski area operator.

(D)“Ski area” means all the ski slopes, ski trails, and passenger tramways that are administered or operated as a single enterprise within this state.

(E)“Ski area operator” means a person or organization that is responsible for the operation of a ski area, including an agency of this state or of a political subdivision thereof.

(F)“Passenger tramway” means a device used to transport passengers uphill, whether on skis or other devices or without skis or other devices, or in cars on tracks or suspended in the air, by the use of steel cables, chains, or belts or by ropes, and that is usually supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans. “Passenger tramway” includes all of the following:

(1)Aerial passenger tramway, a device used to transport passengers in several open or enclosed cars attached to and suspended from a moving wire rope or attached to a moving wire rope and supported on a standing wire rope, or similar devices;

(2)Skimobile, a device in which a passenger car running on steel or wooden tracks is attached to and pulled by a steel cable, or similar devices;

(3)Chair lift, a device on which passengers are carried on chairs suspended in the air and attached to a moving cable, chain, or link belt supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans, or similar devices. Chair lifts need not include foot-rests or passenger restraint devices.

(4)J bar, T bar, or platter pull, devices that pull skiers riding on skis or other devices by means of an attachment to a main overhead cable supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans, or similar devices;

(5)Rope tow, a device with one span and no intermediate towers that pulls skiers riding on skis or other devices as they grasp a rope manually, or similar devices;

(6)Wire rope tow, a device with one span and no intermediate towers by which skiers are pulled on skis or other devices while manually grasping a bar attached to a wire hauling cable.

(7)Conveyor, a flexible moving element, including a belt, that transports passengers on one path and returns underneath the uphill portion.

The operation of a passenger tramway shall not constitute the operation of a common carrier.

(G)“Competitor” means a skier actually engaged in competition, a special event, or training or practicing for competition or a special event in any portion of the area made available by the ski area operator.

(H)“Freestyler” means a skier utilizing freestyle terrain marked with signage approved by the national ski areas association.

(I)  “Freestyle terrain” means, but is not limited to, terrain parks and terrain park features, such as jumps, rails, fun boxes, other constructed or natural features, half-pipes, quarter-pipes, and freestyle-bump terrain.

(J)  “Tubing park” means a ski slope designated and maintained for the exclusive use of skiers utilizing tubes to slide to the bottom of the course and serviced by a dedicated passenger tramway.

§ 4169.02. Ski tramway board established

(A)For the purposes of regulating the construction, maintenance, mechanical operation, and inspection of passenger tramways that are associated with ski areas and of registering operators of passenger tramways in this state, there is hereby established in the division of industrial compliance in the department of commerce a ski tramway board to be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate. The board shall consist of three members, one of whom shall be a public member who is an experienced skier and familiar with ski areas in this state, one of whom shall be a ski area operator actively engaged in the business of recreational skiing in this state, and one of whom shall be a professional engineer who is knowledgeable in the design or operation of passenger tramways.

Of the initial appointments, one member shall be appointed for a term of one year, one for a term of two years, and one for a term of three years. The member appointed to the term beginning on July 1, 1996, shall be appointed to a term ending on June 30, 1997; the member appointed to a term beginning on July 1, 1997, shall be appointed to a term ending on June 30, 1999; and the member appointed to a term beginning on July 1, 1998, shall be appointed to a term ending on June 30, 2001. Thereafter, each of the members shall be appointed for a term of six years. Each member shall hold office from the date of appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed. In the event of a vacancy, the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint a successor who shall hold office for the remainder of the term for which the successor’s predecessor was appointed. A member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of the member’s term until the member’s successor takes office or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first. The board shall elect a chairperson from its members.

The governor may remove any member of the board at any time for misfeasance, nonfeasance, or malfeasance in office after giving the member a copy of the charges against the member and an opportunity to be heard publicly in person or by counsel in the member’s defense. Any such act of removal by the governor is final. A statement of the findings of the governor, the reason for the governor’s action, and the answer, if any, of the member shall be filed by the governor with the secretary of state and shall be open to public inspection.

Members of the board shall be paid two hundred fifty dollars for each meeting that the member attends, except that no member shall be paid or receive more than seven hundred fifty dollars for attending meetings during any calendar year. Each member shall be reimbursed for the member’s actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official board duties. The chairperson shall be paid two hundred fifty dollars annually in addition to any compensation the chairperson receives under this division for attending meetings and any other compensation the chairperson receives for serving on the board.

The division shall provide the board with such offices and such clerical, professional, and other assistance as may be reasonably necessary for the board to carry on its work. The division shall maintain accurate copies of the board’s rules as promulgated in accordance with division (B) of this section and shall keep all of the board’s records, including business records, and inspection reports as well as its own records and reports. The cost of administering the board and conducting inspections shall be included in the budget of the division based on revenues generated by the registration fees established under section 4169.03 of the Revised Code.

(B)In accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, the board shall adopt and may amend or rescind rules relating to public safety in the construction, maintenance, mechanical operation, and inspection of passenger tramways. The rules shall be in accordance with established standards in the business of ski area operation, if any, and shall not discriminate in their application to ski area operators.

No person shall violate the rules of the board.

(C)The authority of the board shall not extend to any matter relative to the operation of a ski area other than the construction, maintenance, mechanical operation, and inspection of passenger tramways.

(D)A majority of the board constitutes a quorum and may perform and exercise all the duties and powers devolving upon the board.

§ 4169.03. Registration of passenger tramway operators

(A)Before a passenger tramway operator may operate any passenger tramway in the state, the operator shall apply to the ski tramway board, on forms prepared by it, for registration by the board. The application shall contain an inventory of the passenger tramways that the applicant intends to operate and other information as the board may reasonably require and shall be accompanied by the following annual fees:

(1)Each aerial passenger tramway, five hundred dollars;

(2)Each skimobile, two hundred dollars;

(3)Each chair lift, two hundred dollars;

(4)Each J bar, T bar, or platter pull, one hundred dollars;

(5)Each rope tow, fifty dollars;

(6)Each wire rope tow, seventy-five dollars;

(7)Each conveyor, one hundred dollars.

When an operator operates an aerial passenger tramway, a skimobile, or a chair lift during both a winter and summer season, the annual fee shall be one and one-half the above amount for the respective passenger tramway.

(B)Upon payment of the appropriate annual fees in accordance with division (A) of this section, the board shall issue a registration certificate to the operator. Each certificate shall remain in force until the thirtieth day of September next ensuing. The board shall renew an operator’s certificate in accordance with the standard renewal procedure in Chapter 4745. of the Revised Code upon payment of the appropriate annual fees.

(C)Money received from the registration fees and from the fines collected pursuant to section 4169.99 of the Revised Code shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the industrial compliance operating fund created in section 121.084 [121.08.4] of the Revised Code.

(D)No person shall operate a passenger tramway in this state unless the person has been registered by the board.

§ 4169.04. Inspections; report of violation

(A)The division of industrial compliance in the department of commerce shall make such inspection of the construction, maintenance, and mechanical operation of passenger tramways as the ski tramway board may reasonably require. The division may contract with other qualified engineers to make such inspection or may accept the inspection report by any qualified inspector of an insurance company authorized to insure passenger tramways in this state.

(B)If, as the result of an inspection, an employee of the division or other agent with whom the division has contracted finds that a violation of the board’s rules exists or a condition in passenger tramway construction, maintenance, or mechanical operation exists that endangers public safety, the employee or agent shall make an immediate report to the board for appropriate investigation and order.

§ 4169.05. Written complaint alleging violation

Any person may make a written complaint to the ski tramway board setting forth an alleged violation of the board’s rules by a registered passenger tramway operator or a condition in passenger tramway construction, maintenance, or mechanical operation that allegedly endangers public safety. The board shall forward a copy of the complaint to the operator named in it and may accompany it with an order that requires the operator to answer the complaint in writing within a specified period of time. The board may investigate the complaint if it determines that there are reasonable grounds for such an investigation.

§ 4169.06. Emergency order; investigation and order; suspension of certificate

(A)When facts are presented to any member of the ski tramway board that indicate that immediate danger exists in the continued operation of a passenger tramway, any member of the board, after such verification of the facts as is practical under the circumstances and consistent with immediate public safety, may by an emergency written order require the operator of the tramway to cease using the tramway immediately for the transportation of passengers. Any person may serve notice on the operator or the operator’s agent who is in immediate control of the tramway by delivering a true and attested copy of the order, and the operator or the operator’s agent shall furnish proof of receipt of such notice by signing an affidavit on the back of the copy of the order. The emergency order shall be effective for a period not to exceed forty-eight hours from the time of notification.

(B)Immediately after the issuance of an emergency order pursuant to this section, the board shall investigate the facts of the case. If the board finds that a violation of any of its rules exists or that a condition in passenger tramway construction, maintenance, or mechanical operation exists that endangers public safety, it shall issue a written order setting forth its findings and the corrective action to be taken and fixing a reasonable time for compliance.

(C)After an investigation pursuant to division (B) of this section, if the board determines that danger to public safety exists in the continued operation of a passenger tramway, it shall so state in the order, describe in detail the basis for its findings, and in the order may require the operator not to operate the tramway until the operator has taken the corrective action ordered pursuant to this section. If the operator continues to use the tramway following receipt of such order, the board may request the court of common pleas having jurisdiction in the county where the tramway is located to issue an injunction forbidding operation of the tramway.

(D)An operator of a passenger tramway may request a hearing by the board on any order issued pursuant to this chapter and may appeal the results of such a hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. An operator may appeal an order suspending the operation of the operator’s tramway without first requesting a hearing.

(E)If an operator fails to comply with an order of the board issued pursuant to this chapter within the specified time, the board may suspend the registration certificate of the operator for such time as it considers necessary to gain compliance with its order.

No operator shall operate a passenger tramway while the operator’s registration certificate is under suspension by the board.

§ 4169.07. Responsibilities of ski area operator and tramway passengers

(A)A ski area operator shall be responsible for any construction that the operator actually performs or has actually performed and for the maintenance and operation of any passenger tramway in the operator’s ski area.

(B)A passenger shall be responsible for: not embarking upon or disembarking from a passenger tramway except at an area that is designated for such purpose; not throwing or expelling any object from a passenger tramway; not performing any action that interferes with the running or operation of a passenger tramway; learning how to use a passenger tramway safely before the time that the passenger desires to embark upon it; not using such a tramway unless the passenger has the ability to use it safely without any on-the-spot instruction from the ski area operator; not engaging willfully or negligently in any type of conduct that contributes to or causes injury to another person; and not embarking upon a passenger tramway without the authority of the ski area operator.

§ 4169.08. Risks assumed by skier; responsibilities of operator and skier

(A)(1) The general assembly recognizes that skiing as a recreational sport is hazardous to skiers regardless of all feasible safety measures that can be taken. It further recognizes that a skier expressly assumes the risk of and legal responsibility for injury, death, or loss to person or property that results from the inherent risks of skiing, which include, but are not limited to, injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by changing weather conditions; surface or subsurface snow or ice conditions; hard pack, powder, packed powder, wind pack, corn, crust, slush, cut-up snow, and machine-made snow; bare spots, rocks, trees, stumps, and other forms of forest growth or debris; lift towers or other forms of towers and their components, either above or below the snow surface; variations in steepness or terrain, whether natural or as the result of snowmaking, slope design, freestyle terrain, jumps, catwalks, or other terrain modifications; any other objects and structures, including, but not limited to, passenger tramways and related structures and equipment, competition equipment, utility poles, fences, posts, ski equipment, slalom poles, ropes, out-of-bounds barriers and their supports, signs, ski racks, walls, buildings, and sheds; and plainly marked or otherwise visible snowmaking and snow-grooming equipment, snowmobiles, snow cats, and over-snow vehicles.

(2)Provided that the ski area operator complies with division (B)(4) of this section, no liability shall attach to a ski area operator for injury, death, or loss to person or property suffered by any competitor or freestyler using a freestyle terrain, which injury, death, or loss to person or property is caused by course, venue, or area conditions that visual inspection should have revealed or by collision with a spectator, competition official, ski area personnel, or another competitor or freestyler.

(3)Provided the ski area operator complies with division (B)(5) of this section, no liability shall attach to a ski area operator for injury, death, or loss to person or property suffered by any skier using a tubing park, which injury, death, or loss to person or property is caused by course design or maintenance or conditions that visual inspection should have revealed or by collision with another skier.

(B)The legal responsibilities of a ski area operator to a skier with respect to any injury, death, or loss to person or property resulting in any way from an inherent risk of the sport shall not be those of the common law duty of premises owners to business invitees. A ski area operator shall have, however, the following responsibilities:

(1)To mark all trail maintenance vehicles and to furnish such vehicles with flashing or rotating lights that shall be in operation whenever the vehicles are working or are moving in the ski area;

(2)To mark with a visible sign or other warning implement the location of any hydrant or similar equipment that is used in snowmaking operations and located anywhere in the ski area;

(3)To mark, at the base of a slope or hill where skiers embark on a passenger tramway serving the slope or hill or at the top of a trail or slope, such slopes, trails, and hills with signs indicating their relative degree of difficulty. The signs must be the type that have been approved by the national ski areas association and are in current use by the industry;

(4)Prior to the use of any portion of a freestyle terrain area made available by the ski area operator, to allow each freestyler or competitor a reasonable opportunity to visually inspect the course, venue, or area of the freestyle terrain;

(5)To allow skiers using a tubing park visible access to the course.

(C)A skier shall have the following responsibilities:

(1)To know the range of the skier’s ability to negotiate any slope or trail or to use any passenger tramway that is associated with a slope or trail, to ski within the limits of the skier’s ability, to ski only on designated slopes and trails, to maintain control of speed and course at all times while skiing, to heed all posted warnings, and to not cross the track of a passenger tramway except at a designated area;

(2)To refrain from acting in a manner that may cause or contribute to the injury of another person, to refrain from causing collision with any person or object while skiing, and to not place any object in a ski area that may cause another skier or a passenger to fall;

(3)When involved in a skiing accident in which another person is involved who needs medical or other assistance, to obtain assistance for the person, to notify the proper authorities, and to not depart from the scene of the accident without leaving personal identification;

(4)If the skier is a competitor, freestyler, or user of freestyle terrain, to assume the risk of all course, venue, or area conditions, including, but not limited to, weather and snow conditions; obstacles; course or feature location, construction, or layout; freestyle terrain configuration and conditions; and other courses, layouts, or configurations of the area to be used;

(5)If the skier is utilizing a tubing park, to assume the risk of collision with others on the course.

§ 4169.09. Liability of operator, tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier

A ski area operator, a tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier is liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by the operator’s, passenger’s, freestyler’s, competitor’s, or skier’s failure to fulfill any of the responsibilities required by this chapter. A ski area operator, a tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier is not liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by another’s failure to fulfill any of the responsibilities required of another by this chapter. A ski area operator, a tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier is not entitled to recover for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by the operator’s, passenger’s, freestyler’s, competitor’s, or skier’s failure to fulfill any of the responsibilities required by this chapter.

§ 4169.10. Operator’s liability to violators of theft statute

A ski area operator is not liable for any losses or damages suffered by a person who was in violation of section 2913.02 of the Revised Code at the time that the losses or damages occurred.

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By Recreation Law    Rec-law@recreation-law.com         James H. Moss         #Authorrank

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Ohio Skier Safety Act

Ohio Skier Safety Act

Page’s Ohio Revised Code Annotated:

TITLE 41.  LABOR AND INDUSTRY 

CHAPTER 4169.  SKI TRAMWAY BOARD

Go to the Ohio Code Archive Directory

ORC Ann. 4169.01  (2013)

§ 4169.01. Definitions

   As used in this chapter:

   (A) “Skier” means any person who is using the facilities of a ski area, including, but not limited to, the ski slopes and ski trails, for the purpose of skiing, which includes, without limitation, sliding or jumping on snow or ice on skis, a snowboard, sled, tube, snowbike, toboggan, or any other device.

   (B) “Passenger” means any person who is being transported or conveyed by a passenger tramway.

   (C) “Ski slopes” or “ski trails” means those sites that are reserved or maintained and are open for use, as designated by a ski area operator.

   (D) “Ski area” means all the ski slopes, ski trails, and passenger tramways that are administered or operated as a single enterprise within this state.

   (E) “Ski area operator” means a person or organization that is responsible for the operation of a ski area, including an agency of this state or of a political subdivision thereof.

   (F) “Passenger tramway” means a device used to transport passengers uphill, whether on skis or other devices or without skis or other devices, or in cars on tracks or suspended in the air, by the use of steel cables, chains, or belts or by ropes, and that is usually supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans. “Passenger tramway” includes all of the following:

      (1) Aerial passenger tramway, a device used to transport passengers in several open or enclosed cars attached to and suspended from a moving wire rope or attached to a moving wire rope and supported on a standing wire rope, or similar devices;

      (2) Skimobile, a device in which a passenger car running on steel or wooden tracks is attached to and pulled by a steel cable, or similar devices;

      (3) Chair lift, a device on which passengers are carried on chairs suspended in the air and attached to a moving cable, chain, or link belt supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans, or similar devices. Chair lifts need not include foot-rests or passenger restraint devices.

      (4) J bar, T bar, or platter pull, devices that pull skiers riding on skis or other devices by means of an attachment to a main overhead cable supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans, or similar devices;

      (5) Rope tow, a device with one span and no intermediate towers that pulls skiers riding on skis or other devices as they grasp a rope manually, or similar devices;

      (6) Wire rope tow, a device with one span and no intermediate towers by which skiers are pulled on skis or other devices while manually grasping a bar attached to a wire hauling cable.

      (7) Conveyor, a flexible moving element, including a belt, that transports passengers on one path and returns underneath the uphill portion.

      The operation of a passenger tramway shall not constitute the operation of a common carrier.

   (G) “Competitor” means a skier actually engaged in competition, a special event, or training or practicing for competition or a special event in any portion of the area made available by the ski area operator.

   (H) “Freestyler” means a skier utilizing freestyle terrain marked with signage approved by the national ski areas association.

   (I) “Freestyle terrain” means, but is not limited to, terrain parks and terrain park features, such as jumps, rails, fun boxes, other constructed or natural features, half-pipes, quarter-pipes, and freestyle-bump terrain.

   (J) “Tubing park” means a ski slope designated and maintained for the exclusive use of skiers utilizing tubes to slide to the bottom of the course and serviced by a dedicated passenger tramway.

HISTORY:

138 v H 775 (Eff 7-1-81); 146 v H 535. Eff 11-20-96; 151 v S 61, § 1, eff. 9-26-05.

NOTES:

Section Notes

EFFECT OF AMENDMENTS

151 v S 61, effective September 26, 2005, rewrote (A); in the introductory language of (F), inserted “or without skis or other devices” and made related changes, and added “all of the following” to the end; and added the first paragraph of (F)(7) and (G) through (J).

Related Statutes & Rules

Cross-References to Related Statutes

Standard renewal procedure defined, RC § 4745.01.

Tramway excepted from definition of amusement rides, RC § 1711.50.

OH Administrative Code

Department of commerce, ski tramway board —

Definitions in re new installations and modifications of existing passenger tramways. OAC 4101:14-1-03.

Case Notes

ANALYSIS Go to ReleaseRelease Go to SnowboarderSnowboarder

Return to Topic ListRELEASE.

The rental agreement and release of liability barred recovery for the ski lift injuries: Broome v. Ohio Ski Slopes, 108 Ohio App. 3d 86, 670 N.E.2d 262, 1995 Ohio App. LEXIS 5971 (1995).

Return to Topic ListSNOWBOARDER.

Trial court erred when it determined that, based on the language of the statute, R.C. 4169.08 was inapplicable to collisions between skiers because, by reading § 4169.08(C) in conjunction with R.C. 4169.09, it was evident that the legislature intended that skiers would be liable for injuries caused to others while skiing. Horvath v. Ish, 194 Ohio App. 3d 8, 954 N.E.2d 196, 2011 Ohio App. LEXIS 1907, 2011 Ohio 2239, (2011), affirmed by, remanded by 2012 Ohio 5333, 2012 Ohio LEXIS 2872 (Ohio Nov. 20, 2012).

§ 4169.02. Ski tramway board established

   (A) For the purposes of regulating the construction, maintenance, mechanical operation, and inspection of passenger tramways that are associated with ski areas and of registering operators of passenger tramways in this state, there is hereby established in the division of industrial compliance in the department of commerce a ski tramway board to be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate. The board shall consist of three members, one of whom shall be a public member who is an experienced skier and familiar with ski areas in this state, one of whom shall be a ski area operator actively engaged in the business of recreational skiing in this state, and one of whom shall be a professional engineer who is knowledgeable in the design or operation of passenger tramways.

Of the initial appointments, one member shall be appointed for a term of one year, one for a term of two years, and one for a term of three years. The member appointed to the term beginning on July 1, 1996, shall be appointed to a term ending on June 30, 1997; the member appointed to a term beginning on July 1, 1997, shall be appointed to a term ending on June 30, 1999; and the member appointed to a term beginning on July 1, 1998, shall be appointed to a term ending on June 30, 2001. Thereafter, each of the members shall be appointed for a term of six years. Each member shall hold office from the date of appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed. In the event of a vacancy, the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint a successor who shall hold office for the remainder of the term for which the successor’s predecessor was appointed. A member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of the member’s term until the member’s successor takes office or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first. The board shall elect a chairperson from its members.

The governor may remove any member of the board at any time for misfeasance, nonfeasance, or malfeasance in office after giving the member a copy of the charges against the member and an opportunity to be heard publicly in person or by counsel in the member’s defense. Any such act of removal by the governor is final. A statement of the findings of the governor, the reason for the governor’s action, and the answer, if any, of the member shall be filed by the governor with the secretary of state and shall be open to public inspection.

Members of the board shall be paid two hundred fifty dollars for each meeting that the member attends, except that no member shall be paid or receive more than seven hundred fifty dollars for attending meetings during any calendar year. Each member shall be reimbursed for the member’s actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official board duties. The chairperson shall be paid two hundred fifty dollars annually in addition to any compensation the chairperson receives under this division for attending meetings and any other compensation the chairperson receives for serving on the board.

The division shall provide the board with such offices and such clerical, professional, and other assistance as may be reasonably necessary for the board to carry on its work. The division shall maintain accurate copies of the board’s rules as promulgated in accordance with division (B) of this section and shall keep all of the board’s records, including business records, and inspection reports as well as its own records and reports. The cost of administering the board and conducting inspections shall be included in the budget of the division based on revenues generated by the registration fees established under section 4169.03 of the Revised Code.

(B) In accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, the board shall adopt and may amend or rescind rules relating to public safety in the construction, maintenance, mechanical operation, and inspection of passenger tramways. The rules shall be in accordance with established standards in the business of ski area operation, if any, and shall not discriminate in their application to ski area operators.

No person shall violate the rules of the board.

(C) The authority of the board shall not extend to any matter relative to the operation of a ski area other than the construction, maintenance, mechanical operation, and inspection of passenger tramways.

(D) A majority of the board constitutes a quorum and may perform and exercise all the duties and powers devolving upon the board.

HISTORY:

138 v H 775 (Eff 7-1-81); 146 v S 162 (Eff 10-29-95); 146 v S 293 (Eff 9-26-96); 146 v H 535. Eff 11-20-96; 153 v H 1, § 101.01, eff. 10-16-09; 2012 HB 487, § 101.01, eff. Sept. 10, 2012.

NOTES:

Section Notes

Editor’s Notes

The effective date is set by § 812.10 of 153 v H 1.

The provisions of 815.10 of 153 v H 1 read as follows:

SECTION 815.10. The General Assembly, applying the principle stated in division (B) of section 1.52 of the Revised Code that amendments are to be harmonized if reasonably capable of simultaneous operation, finds that the following sections, presented in this act as composites of the sections as amended by the acts indicated, are the resulting versions of the sections in effect prior to the effective date of the sections as presented in this act:

* * *

Section 4169.02 of the Revised Code as amended by both Am. Sub. S.B. 293 and Sub. H.B. 535 of the 121st General Assembly.

* * *

The provisions of § 3 of HB 535 (146 v –) read as follows:

SECTION 3. The Ski Tramway Board is the successor to and a continuation of the Safety in Skiing Board.

EFFECT OF AMENDMENTS

The 2012 amendment substituted “division of industrial compliance” for “division of labor” in the first sentence of the first paragraph of (A).

153 v H 1, effective October 16, 2009, substituted “labor” for “industrial compliance” in the first sentence of the first paragraph of (A).

Related Statutes & Rules

Cross-References to Related Statutes

Penalty, RC § 4169.99.

Ohio Constitution

Appointments subject to advice and consent of Senate, Ohio Const. art III, § 21.

OH Administrative Code

Department of commerce, ski tramway board —

General provisions. OAC ch. 4101:14-1.

Introduction and scope of rules. OAC 4101:14-1-01 et seq.

Notice in the event of a serious accident. OAC 4101:14-1-09.

Notice of public hearings and public meetings. OAC 4101:14-1-08.

Comparative Legislation

SAFETY IN SKIING:

NY–NY CLS Labor § 865 et seq

§ 4169.03. Registration of passenger tramway operators

   (A) Before a passenger tramway operator may operate any passenger tramway in the state, the operator shall apply to the ski tramway board, on forms prepared by it, for registration by the board. The application shall contain an inventory of the passenger tramways that the applicant intends to operate and other information as the board may reasonably require and shall be accompanied by the following annual fees:

   (1) Each aerial passenger tramway, five hundred dollars;

   (2) Each skimobile, two hundred dollars;

   (3) Each chair lift, two hundred dollars;

   (4) Each J bar, T bar, or platter pull, one hundred dollars;

   (5) Each rope tow, fifty dollars;

   (6) Each wire rope tow, seventy-five dollars;

   (7) Each conveyor, one hundred dollars.

   When an operator operates an aerial passenger tramway, a skimobile, or a chair lift during both a winter and summer season, the annual fee shall be one and one-half the above amount for the respective passenger tramway.

(B) Upon payment of the appropriate annual fees in accordance with division (A) of this section, the board shall issue a registration certificate to the operator. Each certificate shall remain in force until the thirtieth day of September next ensuing. The board shall renew an operator’s certificate in accordance with the standard renewal procedure in Chapter 4745. of the Revised Code upon payment of the appropriate annual fees.

(C) Money received from the registration fees and from the fines collected pursuant to section 4169.99 of the Revised Code shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the industrial compliance operating fund created in section 121.084 of the Revised Code.

(D) No person shall operate a passenger tramway in this state unless the person has been registered by the board.

HISTORY:

138 v H 775 (Eff 7-1-81); 139 v S 550 (Eff 11-26-82); 141 v H 201 (Eff 7-1-85); 146 v S 162 (Eff 10-29-95); 146 v H 535. Eff 11-20-96; 151 v S 61, § 1, eff. 9-26-05; 153 v H 1, § 101.01, eff. 10-16-09; 2012 HB 487, § 101.01, eff. Sept. 10, 2012.

NOTES:

Section Notes

Editor’s Notes

The effective date is set by § 812.10 of 153 v H 1.

EFFECT OF AMENDMENTS

The 2012 amendment substituted “industrial compliance” for “labor” in (C).

153 v H 1, effective October 16, 2009, substituted “labor” for “industrial compliance” in (C).

151 v S 61, effective September 26, 2005, in the introductory language of (A), deleted “such” preceding “other information”; and added (A)(7).

Related Statutes & Rules

Cross-References to Related Statutes

Industrial compliance operating fund, RC § 121.084.

Penalty, RC § 4169.99.

Ski tramway board established, RC § 4169.02.

Standard renewal procedure defined, RC § 4745.01.

OH Administrative Code

Fees; renewals. OAC 4101:14-1-06.

Registration and inspections. OAC 4101:14-1-05.

§ 4169.04. Inspections; report of violation

   (A) The division of industrial compliance in the department of commerce shall make such inspection of the construction, maintenance, and mechanical operation of passenger tramways as the ski tramway board may reasonably require. The division may contract with other qualified engineers to make such inspection or may accept the inspection report by any qualified inspector of an insurance company authorized to insure passenger tramways in this state.

(B) If, as the result of an inspection, an employee of the division or other agent with whom the division has contracted finds that a violation of the board’s rules exists or a condition in passenger tramway construction, maintenance, or mechanical operation exists that endangers public safety, the employee or agent shall make an immediate report to the board for appropriate investigation and order.

HISTORY:

138 v H 775 (Eff 7-1-81); 145 v H 152 (Eff 7-1-93); 146 v S 162 (Eff 10-29-95); 146 v S 293 (Eff 9-26-96); 146 v H 535. Eff 11-20-96; 153 v H 1, § 101.01, eff. 10-16-09; 2012 HB 487, § 101.01, eff. Sept. 10, 2012.

NOTES:

Section Notes

Editor’s Notes

The effective date is set by § 812.10 of 153 v H 1.

The provisions of 815.10 of 153 v H 1 read as follows:

SECTION 815.10. The General Assembly, applying the principle stated in division (B) of section 1.52 of the Revised Code that amendments are to be harmonized if reasonably capable of simultaneous operation, finds that the following sections, presented in this act as composites of the sections as amended by the acts indicated, are the resulting versions of the sections in effect prior to the effective date of the sections as presented in this act:

* * *

Section 4169.04 of the Revised Code as amended by both Am. Sub. S.B. 293 and Sub. H.B. 535 of the 121st General Assembly.

* * *

EFFECT OF AMENDMENTS

The 2012 amendment substituted “The division of industrial compliance” for “The division of labor” in the first sentence of (A).

153 v H 1, effective October 16, 2009, substituted “labor” for “industrial compliance” in the first sentence of (A).

OH Administrative Code

Acceptance tests. OAC 4101:14-1-04.

Registration and inspections. OAC 4101:14-1-05.

§ 4169.05. Written complaint alleging violation

   Any person may make a written complaint to the ski tramway board setting forth an alleged violation of the board’s rules by a registered passenger tramway operator or a condition in passenger tramway construction, maintenance, or mechanical operation that allegedly endangers public safety. The board shall forward a copy of the complaint to the operator named in it and may accompany it with an order that requires the operator to answer the complaint in writing within a specified period of time. The board may investigate the complaint if it determines that there are reasonable grounds for such an investigation.

HISTORY:

138 v H 775 (Eff 7-1-81); 146 v H 535. Eff 11-20-96.

§ 4169.06. Emergency order; investigation and order; suspension of certificate

   (A) When facts are presented to any member of the ski tramway board that indicate that immediate danger exists in the continued operation of a passenger tramway, any member of the board, after such verification of the facts as is practical under the circumstances and consistent with immediate public safety, may by an emergency written order require the operator of the tramway to cease using the tramway immediately for the transportation of passengers. Any person may serve notice on the operator or the operator’s agent who is in immediate control of the tramway by delivering a true and attested copy of the order, and the operator or the operator’s agent shall furnish proof of receipt of such notice by signing an affidavit on the back of the copy of the order. The emergency order shall be effective for a period not to exceed forty-eight hours from the time of notification.

(B) Immediately after the issuance of an emergency order pursuant to this section, the board shall investigate the facts of the case. If the board finds that a violation of any of its rules exists or that a condition in passenger tramway construction, maintenance, or mechanical operation exists that endangers public safety, it shall issue a written order setting forth its findings and the corrective action to be taken and fixing a reasonable time for compliance.

(C) After an investigation pursuant to division (B) of this section, if the board determines that danger to public safety exists in the continued operation of a passenger tramway, it shall so state in the order, describe in detail the basis for its findings, and in the order may require the operator not to operate the tramway until the operator has taken the corrective action ordered pursuant to this section. If the operator continues to use the tramway following receipt of such order, the board may request the court of common pleas having jurisdiction in the county where the tramway is located to issue an injunction forbidding operation of the tramway.

(D) An operator of a passenger tramway may request a hearing by the board on any order issued pursuant to this chapter and may appeal the results of such a hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. An operator may appeal an order suspending the operation of the operator’s tramway without first requesting a hearing.

(E) If an operator fails to comply with an order of the board issued pursuant to this chapter within the specified time, the board may suspend the registration certificate of the operator for such time as it considers necessary to gain compliance with its order.

No operator shall operate a passenger tramway while the operator’s registration certificate is under suspension by the board.

HISTORY:

138 v H 775 (Eff 7-1-81); 146 v H 535. Eff 11-20-96.

NOTES:

Related Statutes & Rules

Cross-References to Related Statutes

Penalty, RC § 4169.99.

Ohio Rules

Injunctions, CivR 65.

OH Administrative Code

Registration and inspections; fine for violation. OAC 4101:14-1-05.

§ 4169.07. Responsibilities of ski area operator and tramway passengers

   (A) A ski area operator shall be responsible for any construction that the operator actually performs or has actually performed and for the maintenance and operation of any passenger tramway in the operator’s ski area.

(B) A passenger shall be responsible for: not embarking upon or disembarking from a passenger tramway except at an area that is designated for such purpose; not throwing or expelling any object from a passenger tramway; not performing any action that interferes with the running or operation of a passenger tramway; learning how to use a passenger tramway safely before the time that the passenger desires to embark upon it; not using such a tramway unless the passenger has the ability to use it safely without any on-the-spot instruction from the ski area operator; not engaging willfully or negligently in any type of conduct that contributes to or causes injury to another person; and not embarking upon a passenger tramway without the authority of the ski area operator.

HISTORY:

138 v H 775 (Eff 7-1-81); 146 v H 535. Eff 11-20-96.

NOTES:

Section Notes

Editor’s Notes

The effective date is set by section 4 of HB 775.

OH Administrative Code

Mechanical operation and maintenance. OAC 4101:14-1-05.

Case Notes

LIABILITY.

Where there was no evidence to establish whether a ramp was man-made or a natural incline, there were disputed facts from which reasonable minds could conclude that an injury occurred on a ramp which was a part of the passenger tramway constructed for the transport of passengers, and thus, that the owner had violated its responsibility pursuant to R.C. 4169.07(A) to maintain the passenger tramway in its ski area: Graham v. Ohio Ski Slopes, 1998 Ohio App. LEXIS 1283 (1998).

§ 4169.08. Risks assumed by skier; responsibilities of operator and skier

   (A) (1) The general assembly recognizes that skiing as a recreational sport is hazardous to skiers regardless of all feasible safety measures that can be taken. It further recognizes that a skier expressly assumes the risk of and legal responsibility for injury, death, or loss to person or property that results from the inherent risks of skiing, which include, but are not limited to, injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by changing weather conditions; surface or subsurface snow or ice conditions; hard pack, powder, packed powder, wind pack, corn, crust, slush, cut-up snow, and machine-made snow; bare spots, rocks, trees, stumps, and other forms of forest growth or debris; lift towers or other forms of towers and their components, either above or below the snow surface; variations in steepness or terrain, whether natural or as the result of snowmaking, slope design, freestyle terrain, jumps, catwalks, or other terrain modifications; any other objects and structures, including, but not limited to, passenger tramways and related structures and equipment, competition equipment, utility poles, fences, posts, ski equipment, slalom poles, ropes, out-of-bounds barriers and their supports, signs, ski racks, walls, buildings, and sheds; and plainly marked or otherwise visible snowmaking and snow-grooming equipment, snowmobiles, snow cats, and over-snow vehicles.

   (2) Provided that the ski area operator complies with division (B)(4) of this section, no liability shall attach to a ski area operator for injury, death, or loss to person or property suffered by any competitor or freestyler using a freestyle terrain, which injury, death, or loss to person or property is caused by course, venue, or area conditions that visual inspection should have revealed or by collision with a spectator, competition official, ski area personnel, or another competitor or freestyler.

   (3) Provided the ski area operator complies with division (B)(5) of this section, no liability shall attach to a ski area operator for injury, death, or loss to person or property suffered by any skier using a tubing park, which injury, death, or loss to person or property is caused by course design or maintenance or conditions that visual inspection should have revealed or by collision with another skier.

(B) The legal responsibilities of a ski area operator to a skier with respect to any injury, death, or loss to person or property resulting in any way from an inherent risk of the sport shall not be those of the common law duty of premises owners to business invitees. A ski area operator shall have, however, the following responsibilities:

   (1) To mark all trail maintenance vehicles and to furnish such vehicles with flashing or rotating lights that shall be in operation whenever the vehicles are working or are moving in the ski area;

   (2) To mark with a visible sign or other warning implement the location of any hydrant or similar equipment that is used in snowmaking operations and located anywhere in the ski area;

   (3) To mark, at the base of a slope or hill where skiers embark on a passenger tramway serving the slope or hill or at the top of a trail or slope, such slopes, trails, and hills with signs indicating their relative degree of difficulty. The signs must be the type that have been approved by the national ski areas association and are in current use by the industry;

   (4) Prior to the use of any portion of a freestyle terrain area made available by the ski area operator, to allow each freestyler or competitor a reasonable opportunity to visually inspect the course, venue, or area of the freestyle terrain;

   (5) To allow skiers using a tubing park visible access to the course.

(C) A skier shall have the following responsibilities:

   (1) To know the range of the skier’s ability to negotiate any slope or trail or to use any passenger tramway that is associated with a slope or trail, to ski within the limits of the skier’s ability, to ski only on designated slopes and trails, to maintain control of speed and course at all times while skiing, to heed all posted warnings, and to not cross the track of a passenger tramway except at a designated area;

   (2) To refrain from acting in a manner that may cause or contribute to the injury of another person, to refrain from causing collision with any person or object while skiing, and to not place any object in a ski area that may cause another skier or a passenger to fall;

   (3) When involved in a skiing accident in which another person is involved who needs medical or other assistance, to obtain assistance for the person, to notify the proper authorities, and to not depart from the scene of the accident without leaving personal identification;

   (4) If the skier is a competitor, freestyler, or user of freestyle terrain, to assume the risk of all course, venue, or area conditions, including, but not limited to, weather and snow conditions; obstacles; course or feature location, construction, or layout; freestyle terrain configuration and conditions; and other courses, layouts, or configurations of the area to be used;

   (5) If the skier is utilizing a tubing park, to assume the risk of collision with others on the course.

HISTORY:

138 v H 775 (Eff 7-1-81); 146 v H 535. Eff 11-20-96; 151 v S 61, § 1, eff. 9-26-05.

NOTES:

Section Notes

EFFECT OF AMENDMENTS

151 v S 61, effective September 26, 2005, rewrote (A); in the introductory language of (B), deleted “Therefore” from the beginning, and inserted “or loss to person or property” and made related changes; and added (B)(4) and (5) and (C)(4) and (5).

OH Administrative Code

Notice in the event of serious accident. OAC 4101:14-1-09.

Case Notes

ANALYSIS Go to Collisions between skiersCollisions between skiers Go to Common law dutiesCommon law duties Go to Maintenance of rampMaintenance of ramp Go to Renting defective equipmentRenting defective equipment

Return to Topic ListCOLLISIONS BETWEEN SKIERS.

Trial court erred when it determined that, based on the language of the statute, R.C. 4169.08 was inapplicable to collisions between skiers because, by reading § 4169.08(C) in conjunction with R.C. 4169.09, it was evident that the legislature intended that skiers would be liable for injuries caused to others while skiing. Horvath v. Ish, 194 Ohio App. 3d 8, 954 N.E.2d 196, 2011 Ohio App. LEXIS 1907, 2011 Ohio 2239, (2011), affirmed by, remanded by 2012 Ohio 5333, 2012 Ohio LEXIS 2872 (Ohio Nov. 20, 2012).

Return to Topic ListCOMMON LAW DUTIES.

Former R.C. 4169.08 included fences and precluded claims based on common law principles of premises liability: Stone v. Alpine Valley Ski Area, 135 Ohio App. 3d 540, 734 N.E.2d 888, 1999 Ohio App. LEXIS 5926 (1999).

R.C. 4169.08 does not abrogate the common law duty of ski resort owners to their business invitees, skiers: Shaheen v. Boston Mills Ski Resort, 85 Ohio App. 3d 285, 619 N.E.2d 1037, 1992 Ohio App. LEXIS 6080 (1992).

Return to Topic ListMAINTENANCE OF RAMP.

Where a variation in terrain occurs on a ski ramp approximately two feet from the disembarkation point and the skier must encounter the trouble spot in order to successfully disembark, the maintenance of such ramp is part of the ski operator’s responsibility for the maintenance of his passenger tramway: Graham v. Ohio Ski Slopes, 1998 Ohio App. LEXIS 1283 (1998).

Return to Topic ListRENTING DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT.

Renting defective equipment is not an inherent risk of skiing. Anticipatory release was valid to absolve defendant for negligence in renting ski equipment, but evidence was sufficient to support finding of willful and wanton misconduct: Otterbacher v. Brandywine Ski Center, Inc., 1990 Ohio App. LEXIS 4582 (9th Dist. 1990).

§ 4169.09. Liability of operator, tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier

   A ski area operator, a tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier is liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by the operator’s, passenger’s, freestyler’s, competitor’s, or skier’s failure to fulfill any of the responsibilities required by this chapter. A ski area operator, a tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier is not liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by another’s failure to fulfill any of the responsibilities required of another by this chapter. A ski area operator, a tramway passenger, freestyler, competitor, or skier is not entitled to recover for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by the operator’s, passenger’s, freestyler’s, competitor’s, or skier’s failure to fulfill any of the responsibilities required by this chapter.

HISTORY:

138 v H 775. Eff 7-1-81; 151 v S 61, § 1, eff. 9-26-05.

NOTES:

Section Notes

Editor’s Notes

The effective date is set by section 4 of HB 775.

EFFECT OF AMENDMENTS

151 v S 61, effective September 26, 2005, rewrote the section.

Case Notes

ANALYSIS Go to Liability of skiersLiability of skiers Go to Release of liabilityRelease of liability

Return to Topic ListLIABILITY OF SKIERS.

Trial court erred when it determined that, based on the language of the statute, R.C. 4169.08 was inapplicable to collisions between skiers because, by reading § 4169.08(C) in conjunction with R.C. 4169.09, it was evident that the legislature intended that skiers would be liable for injuries caused to others while skiing. Horvath v. Ish, 194 Ohio App. 3d 8, 954 N.E.2d 196, 2011 Ohio App. LEXIS 1907, 2011 Ohio 2239, (2011), affirmed by, remanded by 2012 Ohio 5333, 2012 Ohio LEXIS 2872 (Ohio Nov. 20, 2012).

Return to Topic ListRELEASE OF LIABILITY.

The rental agreement and release of liability barred recovery for the ski lift injuries: Broome v. Ohio Ski Slopes, 108 Ohio App. 3d 86, 670 N.E.2d 262, 1995 Ohio App. LEXIS 5971 (1995).

§ 4169.10. Operator’s liability to violators of theft statute

   A ski area operator is not liable for any losses or damages suffered by a person who was in violation of section 2913.02 of the Revised Code at the time that the losses or damages occurred.

HISTORY:

138 v H 775. Eff 7-1-81.

NOTES:

Section Notes

Editor’s Notes

The effective date is set by section 4 of HB 775.

 


Ohio Appellate decision upholds the use of a release for a minor for a commercial activity.

Wolfe v. AmeriCheer, Inc., 2012 Ohio 941; 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 827

More support that the original Zivich decision did not just apply to non-profits or charities.

Many decisions from other states have dismissed Ohio’s court decision upholding the right of a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue. Several other state courts have dismissed the Ohio decision Zivich v. Mentor Soccer Club, Inc., 696 N.E.2d 201, 82 Ohio St.3d 367 (1998), decision as “non-persuasive.” These courts have identified the decision as applying only to charities or non-profits to keep insurance costs down.

This decision from an Ohio Appellate court dismisses those ideas and holds a release used by a commercial enterprise signed by a parent on behalf of minor stops the lawsuit by the minor.

This case involved an accident at a cheerleading competition. (Yes, it is outside the normal range of cases I write about; however, it is valuable to the outdoor recreation community.) The plaintiff was 13 years of age and part of a cheerleading team sponsored by a commercial business. This team was not part of a public or private school.

The competition was put on by the defendant. To enter the competition the mother of the plaintiff had to sign a Medical Treatment Authorization and Release of Liability. The language of the release part of the form is included in the decision, but that language barely makes the minimum language necessary to be a release.

The plaintiff was a “base” who supported and lifted other cheerleaders into the air. In this case, the “flyer” fell landing on the plaintiff injuring her. She suffered a T8 spinal compression fracture.

The plaintiff sued based on the:

…wreckless, wanton and complete disregard for the safety of Plaintiff, Defendant failed to provide the proper spotters and coaching, as a result Plaintiff was caused to sustain severe and permanent injuries to her person when her team members fell onto her person.

She claimed the failure of the spotters to be in a proper position was more than negligence it “constituted reckless and wanton disregard for Lindsay’s [the plaintiff] safety.” These allegations would take the issue out of simple negligence, which can be protected by a release, to an issue that must be decided by a jury.

The defendants argued the release and the doctrine of primary assumption of the risk. The trial court granted the defendants motion for summary judgment holding both the release and the doctrine of primary assumption of the risk barred the plaintiff’s claims.

So?

In Ohio, the doctrine of Primary Assumption of the risk is occurs when a plaintiff:

…voluntarily engaged in a recreational activity assumes the inherent risks of that activity and cannot recover for injuries sustained while engaging in that activity unless the defendant acted recklessly or intentionally in causing the injuries

As long as the rules of the game or sport are being followed or someone is acting recklessly or intentionally, a player cannot recover from their injuries.

Negligence is synonymous with:

…with heedlessness, thoughtlessness, inattention, inadvertence, and oversight, and conveys the idea of inadvertence as distinguished from premeditated or formed intention, or a conscious purpose to do a wrong act or to omit the performance of a duty.

Negligence is not converted into wanton misconduct unless the evidence establishes a disposition to perversity on the part of the tortfeasor.

Contrast negligence with Willful, wanton or reckless conduct which is defined by Ohio’s law as:

….a failure to exercise any care whatsoever by one who owes a duty of care to another, and the failure must occur under circumstances where there is a great probability that harm will result from the lack of care

Evidence of willful, wanton or reckless conduct can be shown by acts of “…stubbornness, obstinacy, or persistency in opposing that which is right, reasonable, correct, or generally accepted as a course to follow in protecting the safety of others.”

Reckless disregard for the safety of another occurs if one does an act or intentionally fails to do an act which it is his duty to the other to do, knowing or having reason to know of facts which would lead a reasonable person to realize, not only that his conduct creates an unreasonable risk of harm to another, but also that such risk is substantially greater than that which is necessary to make his conduct negligent.

The court characterized the cheerleading competition as a sporting event. As such, unreasonable risk by participants at a sporting event must take into account the way the particular game is played, including the rules, customs and foreseeable conduct of the participants.

To continue her claim based on the greater than simple negligence allegations, the complaint and motions of the plaintiff must assert acts or omissions on the part of the defendant that prove the willful, wanton or reckless conduct or misconduct. The court could not find anything in the pleadings or the motions that supported those claims.

These facts do not demonstrate a disposition to perversity on the part of the spotters or a failure to exercise any care whatsoever. Therefore, an issue as to whether the spotters’ conduct was wanton does not exist.

The court upheld the lower court decision. In doing so the court did make one statement, which was quite interesting.

It is unfortunate that Lindsay was seriously injured at the competition, and we realize that, because of the accident, she has suffered a great deal. However, there was no evidence of recklessness or wantonness that renders AmeriCheer [Defendant] liable for damages.

So Now What?

This decision upholds the prior decision in Zivich. Decisions that I’ve written about where Zivich was dismissed will not be changed, but those decisions will have a lesser effect in the future. See Delaware holds that mothers signature on contract forces change of venue for minors claims and Alabama follows the majority of states and does not allow a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue, (Zivich only applies to charities), Texas follows majority with appellate court decision holding a parent cannot sign away a minor’s right to sue and Iowa does not allow a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue (Zivich only applies to protect volunteers).

This case also supports the use of a release in Ohio to stop a lawsuit by a minor when a minor is injured and the release is signed by a parent or guardian.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Wolfe v. AmeriCheer, Inc., 2012 Ohio 941; 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 827

Wolfe v. AmeriCheer, Inc., 2012 Ohio 941; 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 827

Lindsay M. Wolfe, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. AmeriCheer, Inc., Defendant-Appellee.

No. 11AP-550

COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO, TENTH APPELLATE DISTRICT, FRANKLIN COUNTY

2012 Ohio 941; 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 827

March 8, 2012, Rendered

PRIOR HISTORY: [**1]

APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. (C.P.C. No. 10CVH-05-7045).

DISPOSITION: Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL: Plevin & Gallucci Co., LPA, Michael D. Shroge, and Frank L. Gallucci, III, for appellant.

Reminger Co., L.P.A., Martin T. Galvin and Rafael P. McLaughlin, for appellee.

JUDGES: TYACK, J. BROWN, P.J., and DORRIAN, J., concur.

OPINION BY: TYACK

OPINION

(REGULAR CALENDAR)

DECISION

TYACK, J.

[*P1] Plaintiff-appellant, Lindsay M. Wolfe, was seriously injured while competing in a cheerleading event. She appeals from the May 24, 2011 decision and entry granting defendant-appellee AmeriCheer, Inc.’s (“AmeriCheer”) motion for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

[*P2] Lindsay M. Wolfe, then 13 years old, participated in a cheerleading competition on February 2, 2003 at the Columbus Convention Center. Americheer sponsored the competition known as the 2003 Winter Championship. As a prerequisite to Lindsay being allowed to participate in the competition, Lindsay’s mother, Barbara Wolfe, signed a “Medical Treatment Authorization and Release of Liability” before the competition. The release contained, in pertinent part, the following language:

I further release AmeriCheer and its representatives from any claims for injury [**2] or illness that may be sustained as a result of their participation in this event. I acknowledge and understand that in participating in this event, there is the possibility they may sustain physical illness or injury in connection with his or her participation. I further understand and acknowledge that my daughter [or] [son] and I assume the full risk of physical injury by their participation and I further release the event location, AmeriCheer, Inc., as well as it’s [sic] representatives, from any claims for personal injury, [or] illness that they may sustain during camp.

[*P3] Lindsay was a member of the Xtreme Team Athletics All-Star Cheer & Dance, a private all-star cheerleading team. Xtreme team members trained and competed in a style of cheerleading characterized by gymnastic-type stunts. At the time of her injury, Lindsay was acting as a “base” who, along with others, supported and lifted another cheerleader, the “flyer,” into the air. At a point in the routine where Lindsay had assisted in raising the flyer, the flyer slipped or lost her balance and fell, landing on Lindsay. Lindsay sustained a T8 spinal compression fracture as a result of the fall.

[*P4] Teams use spotters when cheerleaders [**3] are learning new skills, practicing, or performing stunts in which one or more cheerleaders are elevated above the floor. The spotters are there to catch a cheerleader in case of a fall. AmeriCheer provided the spotters used for the 2003 Winter Championship. In her complaint, Lindsay alleged that:

[D]ue to the wreckless [sic], wanton and complete disregard for the safety of Plaintiff, Defendant failed to provide the proper spotters and coaching, as a result Plaintiff was caused to sustain severe and permanent injuries to her person when her team members fell onto her person.

(Complaint, at ¶ 3.)

[*P5] AmeriCheer moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the release signed by Lindsay’s mother barred any negligence claims. Additionally, AmeriCheer argued that the doctrine of primary assumption of risk also acted to bar Lindsay’s claims.

[*P6] Lindsay responded that the spotters’ failure to be properly positioned and failure to move in when the team started the stunt constituted reckless and wanton disregard for Lindsay’s safety, not mere negligence. Therefore, she argued there existed a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the conduct of the spotters was wanton or reckless.

[*P7] The trial [**4] court found that the release signed by Barbara Wolfe on behalf of her daughter was valid, and therefore, the trial court concluded that Lindsay was precluded, by operation of the lease, from bringing any negligence claims against AmeriCheer related to her injuries. The court also agreed with AmeriCheer that the doctrine of primary assumption of risk precluded the negligence claims. Lindsay has not challenged those issues on appeal.

[*P8] The trial court then considered whether there existed a genuine issue of material fact concerning the issue of willful, wanton, or reckless conduct. The court found that Lindsay had failed to present evidence that satisfied the threshold required for a showing of wanton or reckless conduct.

[*P9] On appeal, Lindsay assigns the following as error:

I. The trial court erred in granting Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment because material facts of willful, wanton or reckless conduct exist, placing that issue in dispute for a jury to determine.

II. The trial court erred in concluding that Plaintiff set forth no facts other than those alleged by Plaintiff herself. The trial court’s own Order citing statements garnered from the deposition testimony of Defendant’s President [**5] and CEO clearly establishe a question of fact for which a jury is to determine.

[*P10] At the outset, we address the issue of the deposition testimony of Elizabeth Rossetti, the president and CEO of AmeriCheer. Ms. Rossetti’s deposition was not filed with the court of common pleas. AmeriCheer attached a few pages of excerpts from Ms. Rossetti’s deposition as an exhibit to its reply in support of summary judgment, but the deposition itself was never filed with the court of common pleas. Only the following three depositions were made part of the record: 1) Lindsay Wolfe’s deposition taken on Friday, October 10, 2008; 2) Barbara Wolfe’s deposition taken on December 9, 2008; and 3) Lindsay Wolfe’s second deposition taken on March 15, 2011. A copy of Ms. Rossetti’s entire deposition was attached as part of AmeriCheer’s appendix to its appellate brief. However, since the complete deposition was not made part of the record, we will not consider the entirety of Ms. Rossetti’s deposition.

[*P11] Nevertheless, both parties and the trial court relied on the excerpts of Ms. Rossetti’s deposition without objection in the summary judgment proceedings. The trial court could and did rely on those representations [**6] when it quoted some of Ms. Rossetti’s testimony. Sicard v. Univ. of Dayton, 104 Ohio App.3d 27, 30, 660 N.E.2d 1241 (2d Dist.1995), fn. 1. [HN1] “A trial court, however, can consider non-complying documents in adjudicating a summary judgment motion when no objection to the documents is raised.” New Falls Corp. v. Russell-Seitz, 10th Dist. No. 08AP-397, 2008 Ohio 6514, ¶ 12. “Absent an objection, a trial court has the discretion to consider unauthenticated documents when rendering summary judgment.” Columbus v. Bahgat, 10th Dist. No 10AP-943, 2011 Ohio 3315, ¶ 16. Accordingly, we shall consider the deposition excerpts as well since both parties argue that Ms. Rossetti’s deposition supports their respective arguments.

[*P12] Lindsay’s assignments of error challenge the trial court’s ruling on AmeriCheer’s motion for summary judgment. We [HN2] review the trial court’s grant of summary judgment de novo. Coventry Twp. v. Ecker, 101 Ohio App.3d 38, 41, 654 N.E.2d 1327 (9th Dist.1995). [HN3] Summary judgment is proper only when the party moving for summary judgment demonstrates: (1) no genuine issue of material fact exists; (2) the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law; and (3) reasonable minds could come to but one conclusion, [**7] and that conclusion is adverse to the party against whom the motion for summary judgment is made, when the evidence is construed in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. Civ.R 56(C); State ex rel. Grady v. State Emp. Relations Bd., 78 Ohio St. 3d 181, 1997 Ohio 221, 677 N.E.2d 343 (1997).

[*P13] [HN4] Under summary judgment motion practice, the moving party bears an initial burden to inform the trial court of the basis for its motion and to point to portions of the record that indicate that there are no genuine issues of material fact on a material element of the non-moving party’s claim. Dresher v. Burt, 75 Ohio St.3d 280, 1996 Ohio 107, 662 N.E.2d 264 (1996). Once the moving party has met its initial burden, the non-moving party must produce competent evidence establishing the existence of a genuine issue for trial. Id. Additionally, a moving party cannot discharge its burden under Civ.R. 56 simply by making conclusory assertions that the non-moving party has no evidence to prove its case. Id. Rather, the moving party must point to some evidence that affirmatively demonstrates that the non-moving party has no evidence to support his or her claims. Id. “Permitting a nonmoving party to avoid summary judgment by asserting nothing more than ‘bald contradictions [**8] of the evidence offered by the moving party’ would necessarily abrogate the utility of the summary judgment exercise. C.R. Withem Enterprises v. Maley, 5th dist. No. 01 CA 54, 2002 Ohio 5056, at ¶24. Courts would be unable to use Civ.R. 56 as a means of assessing the merits of a claim at an early stage of the litigation and unnecessary dilate the civil process.” Greaney v. Ohio Turnpike Comm., 11th Dist. No. 2005-P-0012, 2005 Ohio 5284, ¶ 16. Bearing this standard in mind, we shall address the two assignments of error as one.

[*P14] Because of the release signed by Lindsay’s mother and the doctrine of primary assumption of risk, Lindsay is precluded from bringing a negligence action against AmeriCheer. [HN5] Under the doctrine of primary assumption of the risk, a plaintiff voluntarily engaged in a recreational activity assumes the inherent risks of that activity and cannot recover for injuries sustained while engaging in that activity unless the defendant acted recklessly or intentionally in causing the injuries. Marchetti v. Kalish, 53 Ohio St.3d 95, 559 N.E.2d 699 (1990), syllabus; Crace v. Kent State Univ., 185 Ohio App.3d 534, 2009 Ohio 6898, ¶ 13, 924 N.E.2d 906 (10th Dist.).

[*P15] In Crace, this court found that the doctrine [**9] of primary assumption of risk barred a negligence claim against a university in connection with a cheerleading injury. Crace, the captain of the Kent State University varsity cheerleading team, was the flyer during a human pyramid stunt. The first two attempts failed, and both times Crace fell from around 15 feet in the air where the spotter at the front of the formation caught her. On the third attempt the stunt failed again. When Crace came down for the third time, the spotter behind her panicked, shielded his eyes and moved out of the way. As a result, Crace’s fall was unbroken, and caused catastrophic injuries. Id. at ¶ 7.

[*P16] As was the case with Crace, Lindsay can only proceed with her personal injury claims if AmeriCheer acted willfully, wantonly, or recklessly. The issue is whether Lindsay has set forth competent evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact on the issue of willful, wanton, or reckless conduct.

[*P17] [HN6] Ordinarily, the issue of willful, wanton, or reckless conduct is a question for the jury. Matkovitch v. Penn Cent. Transp. Co., 69 Ohio St. 2d 210, 214, 431 N.E.2d 652 (1982). In order to find wanton misconduct, there must be a failure to exercise any care whatsoever by one who [**10] owes a duty of care to another, and the failure must occur under circumstances where there is a great probability that harm will result from the lack of care. Hawkins v. Ivy, 50 Ohio St.2d 114, 363 N.E.2d 367 (1977). By way of contrast, the term “negligence” is synonymous with heedlessness, thoughtlessness, inattention, inadvertence, and oversight, and conveys the idea of inadvertence as distinguished from premeditated or formed intention, or a conscious purpose to do a wrong act or to omit the performance of a duty. Tighe v. Diamond, 149 Ohio St. 520, 525, 80 N.E.2d 122 (1948). Negligence is not converted into wanton misconduct unless the evidence establishes a disposition to perversity on the part of the tortfeasor. Roszman v. Sammett, 26 Ohio St.2d 94, 96-97, 269 N.E.2d 420, (1971), paragraph two of the syllabus. Evidence of a disposition to perversity may be shown by acts of stubbornness, obstinacy, or persistency in opposing that which is right, reasonable, correct, or generally accepted as a course to follow in protecting the safety of others. Id.

[*P18] [HN7] Reckless disregard for the safety of another occurs if one does an act or intentionally fails to do an act which it is his duty to the other to do, knowing or having reason to know [**11] of facts which would lead a reasonable person to realize, not only that his conduct creates an unreasonable risk of harm to another, but also that such risk is substantially greater than that which is necessary to make his conduct negligent. Thompson v. McNeill, 53 Ohio St.3d 102, 104-05, 559 N.E.2d 705 (1990).

[*P19] “What constitutes an unreasonable risk under the circumstances of a sporting event must be delineated with reference to the way the particular game is played, i.e., the rules and customs that shape the participants’ ideas of foreseeable conduct in the course of a game.” Id.

[*P20] Examining the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, Lindsay has set forth evidence that two of the three spotters provided by AmeriCheer were not in the positions they should have been at the time of the injury. Whether those actions or inactions create a factual issue as to wanton or reckless misconduct must be determined by applying the evidence to the standards for wanton or reckless disregard for safety. Only one of the spotters was on the mat during the formation of the stunt. The videotape of the competition was not made part of the record, and therefore it is not possible to determine the exact [**12] placement of the spotters during Lindsay’s routine. All that is known is that at least one spotter was standing on the edge of the mat, and two others were observing in the back. (Barbara Wolfe Depo., at 36.) According to Ms. Rossetti’s testimony while watching the video, the middle spotter was moving forward as the team was preparing to execute the mount. Barbara Wolfe estimated the spotters were at the edge of the mat approximately six to eight feet from the cheerleaders. (Barbara Wolfe Depo., at 72.) Lindsay estimated the spotters were 25 feet from where the cheerleaders were forming the stunt. (Lindsay Wolfe Depo., at 165.)

[*P21] Ms. Rossetti testified that spotters were not even necessary at AmeriCheer competitions, but were there to provide additional lines of safety and to help prevent injuries if they were able to do so. (Elizabeth Rossetti Depo., at 17.) When the cheerleaders are about to perform a stunt like the one in which Lindsay was injured, Ms. Rossetti said: “They should be present, near the – – on the mat. If they’re on the mat, they’re close enough to be at a given particular time, if they’re needed.” When asked where on the mat they should be positioned, Ms. Rossetti answered: [**13] “Well, it depends on the routine. It’s hard to point out. But there’s no – – again, it’s judgment on their part. It’s not trained; it’s learned. It’s judgment. If they feel that they can be there or they’re there, then it’s their judgment to make that call. * * * It’s not my judgment to make that call. * * * It’s their judgment to be on the mat and provide an additional level of safety, yes.” (Elizabeth Rossetti Depo, at 52.)

[*P22] In Dresher, 75 Ohio St.3d at 292, the Supreme Court of Ohio explicitly stated that [HN8] when a court receives a properly presented motion for summary judgment, a non-moving party may not rely upon the mere allegations of its complaint, but, instead, must demonstrate that a material issue of fact exists by directing the court’s attention to evidentiary materials of the type listed in Civ.R. 56(C). Id. Here, Lindsay has failed to cite to facts that support her contention. For example, Lindsay argues that there was a great probability that harm would result from lack of care. She claims that the spotters’ failure to move in when Lindsay’s team began the stunt is a perverse act and conscious disregard of their duty to provide safety. These types of statements add nothing [**14] to the analysis required by a court in addressing a motion for summary judgment.

[*P23] There is no evidence in the record that supports these assertions. Cheerleading carries inherent risks to those participants engaging in stunts of the kind performed at the Winter Championship. (Barbara Wolfe Depo., at 36; see Crace at ¶ 34, 35.) There was no evidence that in 2003 there were standards for spotters or even how many spotters were needed. (Elizabeth Rossetti Depo., at 17, 60.) The only evidence put forth was testimony that two of the spotters were not standing on the mat. Ms. Rossetti watched the video during her deposition, and testified that one spotter was moving in. (Elizabeth Rossetti Depo., at 90.) There was no testimony that the spotters had a duty to move closer when the team began the stunt apart from Lindsay’s observation that at every competition she attended the spotters would walk up. (Lindsay Wolfe Depo., at 66-67.) Lindsay claims that when the cheerleaders were practicing or learning stunts that the coaches stood on the mat and spotted for them. While for summary judgment purposes this statement is taken as true, it is somewhat of a red herring. Ms. Rossetti testified that, [**15] at camp, the spotters can be close by, but, in a competition, they cannot always be on top of them because they will interfere with something else going on. (Elizabeth Rossetti Depo., at 91.) Lindsay also testified that the coaches spotted them during practices. She then stated: “Once we were comfortable with, you know, and they were comfortable with us doing it, yes, they would like stand on the edge of the mat and watch.” (Lindsay Wolfe Depo., at 66.) Taken at face value, by the time a team is ready to perform the routine in competition, the coaches, who formerly spotted, would stand at the edge of the mat. Thus, the evidence suggests the spotters were properly positioned. Even if, as Lindsay testified, the spotters should have moved closer in preparation for the stunt, at least one of them did. These facts do not demonstrate a disposition to perversity on the part of the spotters or a failure to exercise any care whatsoever. Therefore, an issue as to whether the spotters’ conduct was wanton does not exist.

[*P24] Similarly, evidence regarding reckless misconduct is lacking. As stated above, in order to show reckless misconduct, one must act or intentionally fail to act when it is his duty [**16] to the other to do so, knowing or having reason to know of facts which would lead a reasonable person to realize, not only that his conduct creates an unreasonable risk of harm to another, but also that such risk is substantially greater than that which is necessary to make his conduct negligent. Thompson, 53 Ohio St.3d at 104-05.

[*P25] The [**17] unrefuted evidence is that in 2003 AmeriCheer was under no duty to provide spotters at its competitions, but did provide them to create an additional layer of safety. There was testimony that the spotters were, themselves, trained cheerleaders from AmeriCheer’s summer camp. There was no evidence that AmeriCheer inadequately trained its spotters. According to Lindsay, the spotters were in a location where coaches would stand after they were comfortable with how the cheerleaders were performing the routine. Lindsay testified that she had no opportunity to catch the flyer as she was falling. Lindsay’s mother believed that if the spotters had been doing their job the accident probably would not have been as severe or have happened. She also acknowledged that it was possible that the spotter could have been right there and not have been able to stop the accident.

[*P26] There is no evidence that the spotters themselves recognized any facts that would lead them to believe that their conduct could or did create an unreasonable risk of harm to another. There was no evidence at all from the spotters at the event. At best, their actions could be considered negligent. Therefore, Lindsay has failed to [**18] establish a genuine issue of material fact with regard to recklessness.

[*P27] The first assignment of error is overruled. The second assignment of error is also overruled since all parties relied on the deposition testimony of Ms. Rossetti and, as discussed above, it was not error for the trial court to rely on the excerpts. Since our review is de novo and we considered all the evidence that was in the record, there was no error.

[*P28] It is unfortunate that Lindsay was seriously injured at the competition, and we realize that, because of the accident, she has suffered a great deal. But there was no evidence of recklessness or wantonness that renders AmeriCheer liable for damages.

[*P29] Accordingly, appellant’s assignments of error are overruled and the judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas is affirmed.

Judgment affirmed.

BROWN, P.J., and DORRIAN, J., concur.