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36 U.S.F. L. Rev. 535 (2001-2002)
The Theory of the Waiver Scale: An Argument Why Parents Should Be Able to Waive Their Children's Tort Liability Claims

handle is hein.journals/usflr36 and id is 545 raw text is: The Theory of the Waiver Scale: An
Argument Why Parents Should Be Able
to Waive Their Children's Tort
Liability Claims
YOU HAVE ROUGHLY a 1 in 10,000 chance of dying in a bathtub.1
You have about a 1 in 4,800 chance of being killed by a falling object.2
You are more likely to be attacked by a cow than a shark,3 more likely
to be killed by a champagne cork than a bite from a poisonous spi-
der,4 and if you are a red-headed male, you are more likely than any-
one else to go bald.5 Risk abounds.
But as with any other plentiful resource, systems have developed
where risk can be exploited for business gain. One such system is that
of the liability waiver,6 in which parties agree as a condition of enter-
ing into service agreements7 not to hold each other responsible if
* Class of 2002. The author would like to thank his fiancee, Jennifer Gervasi, and
parents, Robert and Anne Nelson, for their unconditional love and support. He would also
like to thank Donna Jean Davis, University of San Francisco General Counsel, for her
invaluable insight into the topic of liability waivers.
1. See National Safety Council, What Are the Odds of Dying, http://www.nsc.org/lrs/
statinfo/odds.htm (last visited Sept. 24, 2001) (statistical estimates based on 1996 data
from the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau).
2. See id.
3. See Uselessfacts.net, Uselessfacts.net: Statistics, at http://www.uselessfacts.net/facts/
Statistics/ (last visited Sept. 24, 2001).
4. See id.
5. See Uselessfacts.net, Uselessfacts.net: Health and Body, at http://www.uselessfacts.
net/facts/Health and - Body/ (last visited Sept. 24, 2001).
6. This Comment uses the terms liability waiver, liability release, waiver, release, and
exculpatory agreement interchangeably. Liability waivers may also be referred to as as-
sumptions of risk, statements of understanding, and/or consents not to sue, and, when
contained in broader contractual agreements, indemnity or hold harmless clauses. See
Mario R. Arango & William R. Trueba, Jr., The Sports Chamber: Exculpatory Agreements Under
Pressure, 14 U. MiAMi Er. & SPORTS L. REv. 1 (1997); see also BLACK'S LAw DICTIONARY 593
(7th ed. 1999).
7. Waivers may be used in any situation in which a person is asked to contractually
release a legal right or advantage. See BLACK's LAw DIcTIoNARY 1575 (7th ed. 1999). This
Comment will focus only on those waivers arising in service agreements.

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