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Exculpatory Clause

Exculpatory Clause

Exculpatory Clause is a provision in a contract that relieves one party of the contract of
any liability if damages or injuries occur or caused during the performance or execution of the
contract. The party issuing the exculpatory contract is usually the one seeking to be protected
from any actions arising out of the damages or injuries sustained by the other party of the
contract during the execution of the contract. For instance during a concert all the receipts sold
are categorically indicated that the management is not liable to any injuries or damages that may
occur inside the theater hall. By buying and retaining the receipt its assumed that you have
accepted the terms of the management.
While most of the exculpatory clauses are upheld by most courts, their viability can be
challenged and at times overturned by the courts. If the court determines that its unreasonable
and both the parties have unequal bargaining power or the clause eliminates any of the liabilities
for negligence then the court will rule against the exculpatory clause. (McCord and McCord,

Exculpatory Clause

Wilbur Spalding, the owner of Jacksonville race tract at the Morgan Fairgrounds is
negligently responsible for the injuries suffered by Lawrence P. Koch as at the time of
employment, he owed Lawrence a duty of care while at the race tract as his previous experience
and nature of his work involved the fast moving vehicles that are recklessly driven in the race
tract, Spalding should have warned Lawrence of the dangers involved and even taken some
relative steps to ensure his safety. As a professional in his field he also owed Lawrence a
standard duty of care to ensure the safety of all his employees while at their work place. Maness
v Santafe park (1998)
The driver of the racing car that hit Lawrence also has to be crimininally held liable for his
reckless and negligent driving though inside the race tract he should have been more responsible
and avoided hitting Lawrence. Marrow v Auto championship racing ass.
Finally, the exculpatory clause does not bare any weight in this case as the defendant failed to
warn the plaintiff of the imminent danger involved in his work. The clause should be disregarded
in this case.

Exculpatory clause


McCord, H., McCord, S (2001). Criminal Law And Procedure for the Paralegal: A Systems
Approach. Thomson Delmar Learning. p. 454.

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