Rock Climbing Liability Waiver Found Enforceable.
We obtained summary judgment on behalf of a rock climbing center. The plaintiff, a certified climber, was injured when she fell from a 25-foot rock-climbing wall at our client's facility. After reaching the summit of the wall, she pushed off to begin repelling down, only to realize that she forgot to connect to the auto-belay system. She fell to the ground and fractured both ankles and underwent open reduction internal fixation surgery. She had previously visited the client's facility approximately 35 times and had executed a liability waiver on each occasion, including the date of the accident. We moved for summary judgment to dismiss her complaint based upon the fact that the liability waiver was enforceable. The plaintiff argued that the liability waiver was only enforceable as to her claims of ordinary negligence, and that the issue of whether the defendant was grossly negligent was a triable issue of fact. However, we successfully argued that no reasonable jury could find that the client was grossly negligent based on the client's testimony of the safety procedures, protocols and equipment in place at the rock-climbing center. Accordingly, the court granted our motion for summary judgment and dismissed the plaintiff's complaint, in its entirety, against our client.