New York Noncompete, Trade Secret & School Negligence Blog
This blog by the six-time published author Jonathan Cooper, is intended to educate the general public about issues of interest, particularly innovations and changes in the law, in the areas of non-compete agreements, breach of contract matters, school negligence (and/or negligent supervision), construction accidents, slip and/or trip and fall accidents, auto accidents, and, of course, defective or dangerous products.
For additional information on any of these topics, readers are encouraged to download these FREE e-books:
- To Compete or Not to Compete: The Definitive Insider's Guide to Non-Compete Agreements Under New York Law
- When Schools Fail to Protect Our Kids
- When You Don't Have a Written Agreement
- Why Most Accident Victims Do Not Recover the Full Value of Their Claim
- Why Are There So Few Successful Defective Products Lawsuits?
In Nutley v. Skydive the Ranch, the plaintiff suffered personal injuries when he was forced to rely on his secondary chute rather than on his primary parachute which had failed. In their motion to dismiss the complaint, the Skydive ranch pointed out to the Court that before he embarked on the skydive, the plaintiff had signed an agreement in which he expressly waived his right to sue for the ranch's negligence.
But that's not why the appellate court dismissed the case: under New York law, any contract or agreement between the owner or operator of a facility and a paying customer stating that the owner may not be held liable for its negligence is void and unenforceable (see NY General Obligations Law 5-326). Instead, the appellate court noted that since the plaintiff's claimed injury resulted from a risk that was open and obvious, and inherently part of, the activity of skydiving, the plaintiff voluntarily assumed this risk, and therefore the defendant Skydive ranch could not be held liable for his injuries.