If Someone Dies After Signing Waiver, Does That Prevent Their Family From Suing?

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As we get into the heart of race season, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has announced it will hear arguments in a case that could drastically affect how much race-organizers are protected by waiver of liability forms.

The case centers on Derek Valentino who died during the swim portion of the 2010 Philadelphia Triathlon.

Valentino signed a waiver that said he understood participation involves risks of serious injury or death.

Attorney Craig Falcone, representing the family, argues the signature would show Valentino understood the risks, but it doesn’t mean his wife and children understood them.

“If it’s proven that there’s liability and negligence in the case, why should she be precluded when she was not a part of any of that aspect of the waiver form?”

Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed a summary judgement in favor of race organizers, but Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal specifically asking if someone signs a waiver, but then dies in the race, does that signature bind his or her heirs precluding them from bringing a wrongful death suit.

No timeline yet for the appeal.

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