In the Courts: Court Rejects Hold-Harmless Agreement

October 24, 2014 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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The Superior Court of New Jersey's rejection of a health club's "hold harmless" agreement contains lessons for aging services organizations that use or are considering using such agreements to avoid liability for residents' participation in activities with inherent risk (e.g., use of on-campus fitness equipment, a pool, or a woodshop; sponsored excursions such as canoe trips).

The health club required the plaintiff to sign the membership agreement, which contained a hold-harmless clause, as a condition of accessing the club's facilities and using its exercise equipment. The hold-harmless clause stated, in part, "I agree that the health club will not be responsible for any personal injuries...

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