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Should You Ask People To Sign A Liability Waiver Before Using Your Pool?

Niki Brown
Niki Brown Law Student at New England Law
Niki is a Law Student at New England Law and is interested in Business and Entertainment law.
waiver pool
You may be thinking about your Labor Day plans. 

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, many people are leaning towards hosting small backyard parties. 

And chances are, many of those yards have pools. 

Pool sales - both inflatable pools and professionally installed pools - have skyrocketed since March

We hate to be worry warts, but before you invite the whole neighborhood over, you may want to consider what liability you have when people use your pool. 

In addition to the potential that people may hurt themselves in or near your pool, this year, you also need to think about what may happen if someone contracts COVID-19 at your pool party. 

As a homeowner, you are responsible for whatever occurs on your property. 

Hopefully, your friends and family wouldn't take legal action against you for anything that might happen in or near your pool.

But they could. 

For this reason, you may be wondering if you should have guests sign a liability waiver pertaining to injuries and the Coronavirus.

What is a liability waiver?

A liability waiver is a contract between two or more parties where the signee assumes the risk of injury. For example, if you are participating in a dangerous activity such as skydiving, you will be required to assume all injuries and sign a waiver revoking your right to sue the party for any damages you may face. 

You could include language in your waiver about the risk of catching the Coronavirus.  

According to our Chief Legal Officer, Jennifer McGlone,   “It would it be reasonable to expect that someone swimming in someone else’s pool is voluntarily assuming the risk of Coronavirus exposure.  But if you aren't sure your guests understand that risk, you could ask them to sign a waiver.  It makes the risk explicit, which is a good idea from a public policy perspective."

But McGlone wonders how much fun you'll truly be having if you are thinking about having guests sign waivers.  "If you're that worried, it may be better not to have people over at all." 

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