By Sunnie Ning
Salons, movie theaters, gyms, churches — if you have been somewhere recently that is indoors or requires close personal contact, chances are, you have encountered a COVID liability waiver. But how enforceable are they?
Liability waivers, which stand at the intersection of torts and contract law, are a matter of state law. They have been on the rise as a contractual solution to tort problems since the 1980s, and are now common for recreational and sporting activities with higher-than-normal risks. However, no court has adjudicated on the enforceability of a COVID liability waiver yet, and the unique nature of the pandemic makes it difficult to predict how courts will rule.
Standard gym and health club waivers, operating outside the context of a pandemic, may provide insights into the enforceability of COVID waivers.