Are waivers of negligence upheld in Tennessee?

The short answer is yes. A plaintiff’s case for serious injuries suffered in a motorcycle safety lesson was dismissed because the plaintiff had signed a release. The Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal  of the negligence claim citing the precedent that “parties may contract that one shall not be liable for his negligence to another.” Olson v. Molzen, 558 S.W.2d 429, 430 (Tenn. 1977) (citing Moss v. Fortune, 340 S.W.2d 902 (Tenn. 1960)). The Court held that the release was not void against public policy nor unconscionable. As for a claim of gross negligence, the Court agreed that based on the facts of the case there was no possible claim for gross negligence. Maxwell v. Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Inc., No. M2012-00699-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. January 29, 2013).

Published by Mark Honeycutt on 02.08.13

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