Waiver of Liability: is it Worth the Risk?

Nearly a year ago, I blogged about BC Supreme Court case Loychuck v. Cougar Mountain Adventures. Deanna Loychuck and Danielle Westgeest sued Whistler-based Cougar Mountain Adventures for injuries sustained in a ziplining accident. But the Judge found in favour of Cougar Mountain, saying that the waivers signed by Westgeest and Loychuck were a complete defence to any liability.

Westgeest and Loychuck appealed. Cougar Mountain admits their employees were negligent. But they say the waiver signed by Westgeest and Loychuck means they can’t sue.

The Appeal Judge agrees with the Trial Judge and Westgeest and Loychuck lose again.

It’s important to carefully read and understand any paperwork you are asked to sign before participating in an activity. Weigh the risks. If you can’t turn down the adventure and sign the waiver, you can lose your right to sue for damages.

There is an exception to the rule. In Wong v. Lok’s Martial Arts Centre Inc., the Judge decided that the Infants Act does not permit a parent or guardian to waive the right of a minor or infant to sue for negligence. For more information see Is a Child’s Waiver of Liability Binding When Signed by a Parent?


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Tony Vecchio, K.C.
Anthony (Tony) Vecchio, K.C., founded Slater Vecchio in January 1998. He has been counsel on some of the largest cases in British Columbia.