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Liability in Iowa – Getting Hit by a Baseball Bat – Effect of Permission Slips, Releases, and Waivers

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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As summer approaches, more and more children will be attending outdoor activities under the supervision of schools and child care providers. Parents and guardians are routinely required to sign permission slips before a child is allowed to go on a field trip to an amusement park or the local swimming pool. Does a permission slip signed by a parent make the school or child care provider not responsible for accidents and injuries?

The Iowa Supreme Court recently addressed this question in a case involving an 8 year old girl who was hit in the head by a flying baseball bat at a minor league baseball game. The girl’s parents signed a permission slip which said that the sponsor of the trip was not responsible for any injuries or accidents. The Iowa court found that the permission slip did not release the sponsor of the trip from liability. The Iowa Supreme Court issued this opinion gives parents and caregivers the ability to bring forth insurance claims and lawsuits even when permission slips or releases are signed. It is really against public policy and against the best safety interests of the child to allow negligent sponsors, businesses, and persons to act in a negligent manner, cause injuries, and then run away from liability for injuries caused to a child.