Gross Negligence Case Study

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Question Presented Using Massachusetts’s common law is the waiver that Lily Baker and her son signed, which released Wilderness Adventures, an overnight for profit organization, from liability of injuries including those sustained due to negligence enforceable? Brief Answer Most likely yes, there are no statutes in Massachusetts that specifically cover this issue. Therefore we must look to common law to try to predict what the court will decide in our particular issue. Generally Massachusetts favors the enforcement of waivers as long as there an absence of fraud, but will not favor the release in cases of gross negligence. Based on the facts there does not seem this issue does not seem to involve gross negligence and therefore the waiver will be enforceable. Statement of Facts Recently, Ms. Baker’s ten-year-old son, Tim, attended an overnight camp…show more content…
Baker may raise is the issue of gross negligence. Zavras v. Capeway “Although no Massachusetts appellate court has decided whether a defendant may also exempt itself from its own gross negligence, both the Supreme Judicial Court and this court have noted that releases are effective against liability for ordinary negligence.” Zavras, 44 Mass.App.Ct. at 18. Ms. Baker could claim that the injuries that her son suffered qualify as gross negligence. A way to determine gross negligence is by the degree of attention demonstrated by the defendant. Altman v. Aronson “Ordinary and gross negligence differ in degree of inattention.” Altman v. Aronson, 231 Mass. 588, 592 (1919). In our case the camp counselors reminded the campers every night that they should not bring food into the tent as it might attract animals. This shows attention to the possibility of animals coming into the tents. The camp did not check that this was complied to and consequently it was on the other campers to make sure that there was no food present. Therefore Ms. Baker will not be able to prove a claim of gross

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