Maryland Lawmakers Make It Harder for Recreational Facilities to Avoid Liability for Their Own Negligence

On May 16, 2024, Governor Wes Moore signed a new law in Maryland that prohibits waivers of liability for negligence in recreational facilities. This law has major implications for anyone participating in activities at recreational centers, as it ensures that recreational facilities can no longer use liability waivers to avoid responsibility for their negligence.

What Are Liability Waivers?

Liability waivers are documents that participants sign before engaging in an activity, stating that they will not hold the facility responsible if they get injured. These waivers have been commonly used by gyms, amusement parks, sports centers, and other recreational venues to protect themselves from lawsuits, even if the injury was due to the facility’s negligence. Negligence occurs when a facility fails to provide a safe environment, such as not maintaining equipment properly, not having adequate safety measures in place, or failing to provide necessary supervision.

MD’s New Law Against Waivers of Liability

Under the new law, these waivers are no longer valid in Maryland when it comes to negligence. This change is significant because it ensures that recreational facilities are held accountable for providing safe environments for their patrons. If a facility’s negligence leads to an injury, they can be held responsible and may be required to compensate the injured party for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs.

Here are three examples where this new law may come into play:

Gym Equipment Failure: You are using a treadmill at a gym, and it suddenly malfunctions due to poor maintenance, causing you to fall and sustain injuries. Despite having signed a liability waiver, you can now hold the gym accountable for their negligence in maintaining the equipment.

Amusement Park Accident: While riding a roller coaster at an amusement park, you are injured because the safety harness fails. An investigation reveals that the park neglected routine safety inspections. Under the new law, the park cannot use a liability waiver to avoid responsibility for your injuries.

Sports Center Negligence: During a basketball game at a sports center, you slip on a wet floor that was not properly cleaned or marked as hazardous. The center’s negligence in maintaining a safe playing area means you can seek compensation, even if you signed a liability waiver beforehand.

The new law aims to protect Maryland residents and promote a culture of safety among recreational facilities. It ensures that these establishments are incentivized to maintain their equipment, provide adequate supervision, and implement safety measures to prevent accidents and injuries.

Have You Been Hurt While Engaging in a Recreational Activity?

If you have been injured in a recreational activity in Maryland and are considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, this new law could be crucial for your case. A personal injury lawyer with Lebowitz & Mzhen can help you understand your rights and determine if the facility’s negligence contributed to your injury. We represent clients in Prince George’s, Baltimore, Charles, and Montgomery counties. If you have questions about your case, call us today at 800-654-1949 and schedule a free and no-obligation initial consultation with a Maryland injury lawyer at our office.

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