There are inherent risks of injury and death in some sports and recreational activities. Companies that offer such activities, such as whitewater rafting, ziplining, skydiving, and horseback riding, routinely request that customers sign liability waivers to advise customers of such risks and to protect themselves from claims and lawsuits. Despite liability waivers, litigation often ensues following injuries or deaths that occur and so it is important that waivers are fairly entered into, adequately describe the risks, and clearly reflect the parties’ intent to waive liability. In 2018, Colorado and Wyoming courts have decided several cases enforcing liability waivers in favor of companies that provide recreational activities and trips to customers. In Brigance v. Vail Summit Resorts, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 397 (10th Cir. Jan 8, 2018), the court enforced a liability waiver for the ski resort. Plaintiff was injured while skiing in ski school, but the lift ticket’s exculpatory language on the back and the waiver signed for ski school barred her claim. In Dullmaier v. Xanterra Parks & Resorts, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4792 (10th Cir. Feb. 27, 2018), a person who was killed during a guided horseback ride sued the horseback outfitter. The court held that plaintiff’s death stemmed from risks inherent in the activity, and that “any person who takes part in any sport or recreational opportunity assumes the inherent risks in that sport or recreational opportunity.” In Raup v. Vail Summit Resorts, U.S. App. LEXIS 11989 (10th Cir. May 8, 2018), the court upheld a waiver of liability of a lift ticket for similar reasons and held that a parent could waive a child’s prospective claim for negligence via a waiver.

Hall & Evans also successfully enforced a liability waiver and won summary judgment on behalf of a rafting outfitter at the trial court level in Lenze v. Blazing Adventures LLC, (Pitkin County, Colorado January 23, 2018). Nearly all cases decided in favor of the sports and recreational industry cite to Espinoza v. Arkansas Valley Adventures, LLC, 809 F.3d 1150 (10th Cir. 2016), a case handled and won by Hall & Evans.