Waiver of Liability: COVID-19
This release of liability (also known as as a liability waiver) is intended to be used by DMCs operating or reopening during an epidemic, pandemic, or other public health emergency involving a significant outbreak of an infectious disease (i.e., COVID-19).
The attendee signs the release of liability to absolve, exculpate, or forgive in advance the DMC of potential claims that the attendee contracted an infectious disease while participating in the event or activity. If the DMC is unable to secure the signature of the attendees prior to the commencement of the program, the DMC should, at the very least, seek to modify their indemnification provision within their event service agreement. In doing so, this will attempt to transfer liability to the client in the instance the attendee later files suit against the DMC because the attendee alleges they have been exposed to or contracted COVID-19 as a result of the program.
This waiver provides a general template to assist a DMC in drafting a release of liability for exposure to infectious disease claims. While it is drafted in broad terms to cover a wide range of circumstances, it must be tailored to reflect the DMC’s specified operations, as well as their respective state law.
In addition to a release of liability, this document follows the common practice of including assumption of risk language under which the attendee acknowledges:
They are aware of the hazards of the infectious disease and the risks associated with participating in a certain activity; and
They are voluntarily engaging in that activity despite the risk of exposure or infection.
This release only addresses the risk of exposure to infectious diseases and does not address other risks, such as risk of injury from engaging in potentially dangerous or hazardous activities. If the attendee will engage in an activity that is dangerous or hazardous, the DMC should revise this release to specifically address those risks.