Good Exculpation Clauses Can Limit Your Liability

If you rely on exculpation clauses to protect your business from liability, better make sure they are written correctly.

Recently, the Illinois Appellate Court was faced with a case where the Plaintiff, while working out with hand weights at a fitness club, was injured when mirror suddenly fell from a nearby wall and struck him. In ruling in favor of the Defendant fitness club, the trial court held that the fitness club was shielded from liability by the exculpation clause in the membership agreement.

On appeal, however, the Appellate Court reversed. It held that the incident was not within the scope of possible dangers ordinarily or reasonably accompanying use of a fitness club. It therefore sent the case back to the trial court so the judge could decide whether it was in fact related to exercise. You can read the entire opinion here: Hawkins v. Capital Fitness, Inc., 2015 IL App (1st) 133716 (March 4, 2015)

Exculpation clauses can limit the liability that your business faces. But it needs to be properly drafted and needs to be tied to the business that your company is actually engaged in. Contact us today to learn more about exculpation clauses and protecting your business from potential liabilities.


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Richard Lofgren
Richard Lofgren
Richard Lofgren
Richard Lofgren has twenty eight years of legal experience working with businesses on the issues they face daily during their business cycles. Acting in the capacity of an outside general counsel, he helps business owners to make smarter decisions, build stronger relationships and make and save money.