Understanding Capacity to Contract Laws
The year is 1982. Muhammed Ali is seriously ill and has been committed to a hospital bed, only a few years before he is officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Possibly concussed and definitely suffering from the beginning stages of Parkinson’s, he is approached by Jeremiah Shabazz, an intermediary of Don King, his promoter and the man he is suing for $1.1 million for criminally underpaying him for his brutal loss against Larry Holmes. Described by Shabazz as “mumbling a lot,” Ali signs a contract agreeing not to pursue the lawsuit and instead accepts King’s “gift” of $50,000.
Perhaps one of the more infamous examples of contract abuse, one would like to think its place in history was to call attention to the ways uninformed contractual obligations can permanently alter a person’s life when they are denied all the facts.
The Bull Bash Injuries and Waiving Your Rights in KY
Recently, on February 16th, 2019, Owensboro, Kentucky saw the reckless use of a waiver at “Bull Bash” during a game called “Cowboy Pinball” in which volunteers stood inside small, individual white circles spread out within a bullpen. A raging bull was released within the pen and the contestants held firm for their chance to win a $100 prize.
The viral video does not show a winner because the game was halted due to substantial injuries. Several individuals were flung across the pen, their bodies flailing like ragdolls in a tornado. Reports go on to say that numerous contestants suffered from physical traumas such as broken bones and torn ligaments. Unfortunately, all of these people signed a waiver.
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What Does It Mean to Waive Your Rights?
Historically, waivers and contracts exist to protect organizations against potential lawsuits. Simply put, to “waive”, in a legal sense, means to relinquish the right to something. Contracts and waivers can mean that a subject is “waiving” the right to claims such as personal injury lawsuits, which can result in a lifetime of uncompensated pain and suffering for a victimized individual.
Why You Should be Cautious Before Signing a Liability Waiver
“The Hammer” Darryl Isaacs, co-founder of Isaacs & Isaacs Law Firm, has more than 25 years of experience representing big truck and car accident personal injury lawsuits. Isaacs has seen firsthand the effects contracts and waivers can have on accident victims who are intimidated by big insurance companies and corporations into signing their rights away.
After the dust has settled, many people realize that they inadvertently signed away opportunities to pursue legal action compensating them for injuries and psychological harm. Isaacs cautions everyone to be leery of “too good to be true” offers, restricting waivers and predatory organizations.
When it comes to protecting the inviolability of your rights, “The Hammer” says: “Don’t sign the waiver!”