Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Liability Waivers

I recently had occasion to read the application for a (to-remain-unnamed-for-now) reality television show. Most of it was pretty much what one would expect, namely, questions designed to identify potential candidates' idiosyncrasies, fears, hopes, delusions of grandeur, pet peeves, and anything else that might make for interesting TV. Also as expected, there's a lot of legalese in the document that basically requires the applicant to sign away every right-- real or imagined-- that he or she has. Now, I'm sure there are good reasons why all of these waivers are necessary, but some of the document's sections were just downright hilarious. So, I thought I'd share. The following is one of my most favorite paragraphs:

"All applicants must be in good physical and mental health and must be aware that, and sign releases attesting that, the activities in the Program may involve risks and hazards, and that participating in the Program may expose applicant and other participants to, among other things, the risk of death, serious injury, illness and property damage caused by the risks associated with their participation in the Program, including, without limitation, the following: latent or apparent defects or conditions in any equipment used in the Program; the use or operation by applicant or others of said equipment; acts of other people including, without limitation, acts of the Producers or other participants; accommodations; weather or other natural conditions; the nature of travel including, without limitation, latent defects and human error; applicant’s physical condition; applicant’s own acts or omissions; sleep deprivation; first-aid, medical or emergency treatment or other services rendered to applicant or others; exposure to illness; consumption of food or drink; acts of God (e.g. earthquakes and floods); laws or local ordinances; war or riots; terrorism; strikes; and/or no reason at all."

Why do I think this is hilarious, you may ask? Well, there are THREE reasons:
1) I love that it makes the effort to distinguish between "weather or other natural conditions" and "acts of God (e.g., earthquakes or floods)."
2) I love the suggestion that "laws or local ordinances" pose as much of a threat for death, serious injury or illness as "war/riots/terrorism."
3) And, of course, I love the concluding clause: "and/or no reason at all"-- which is the equivalent, I think, of saying "hey, sh*t happens, and you can't sue us for it."

Why might I be reading said document in the first place, you may now ask? Ahhh, the answer to that one will have to wait... but, for now, I'll just say that Ideas Man, PhD and I may be embarking upon an adventure.


a liar said...

are you going to try to be on the amazing race?

you are, aren't you.

does that still exist?

Ideas Man, Ph.D. said...

Why this sounds fascinating. I hope Ideas Man has time to post on this subject soon too.