By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
The Iowa Supreme Court recently handed down a decision that ruled that child injury waiver forms are not enforceable. The case involved a release form used for field trips in the Mid Prairie and Keota School Districts. The ruling makes sense as the use of these documents is really against the public policy. While a school is not liable for every single injury or unforeseeable event that takes place, a school or teacher should not be able to hide behind a blanket waiver form when there is an injury that was caused by negligence or inappropriate supervision. No form or document should give a school district or any other institution that cares for or educates children a free reign to cause injury without any consequences. You can read more about this story at Iowa Supreme Court Rules that Liability Waivers Are Unenforceable.
One thing is perfectly clear about liability waiver forms whether deemed invalid or valid in a particular state. Liability waiver forms do absolutely nothing to provide for the safety of children. Instead of spending time and effort to figure out a way to avoid liability, schools, day care center, and child care providers should spend the time and effort providing for the proper care, education, and supervision of children. This, in turn, will help avoid many child injuries and lessen supposed need of a liability waiver by the school or child care provider.