Jump directly to the Content

Intentional and Grossly Negligent Acts Negate Release Forms

A Texas appellate court says a signed release form didn’t bar an injured soccer player from pursuing an assault lawsuit.

Key point 10-16.06. A release form is a document signed by a competent adult that purports to relieve a church from liability for its own negligence. Such forms may be legally enforceable if they are clearly written and identify the conduct that is being released. However, the courts look with disfavor on release forms, and this has led to several limitations, including the following: (1) release forms will be strictly and narrowly construed against the church; (2) release forms cannot relieve a church of liability for injuries to minors, since minors have no legal capacity to sign such forms and their parents’ signature does not prevent minors from bringing their own personal injury claims after they reach age 18; (3) some courts refuse to enforce any release form that attempts to avoid liability for personal injuries on the ground that such forms violate public policy; and (4) release ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Sex Offenders in the Church
Sex Offenders in the Church
Legal and safety concerns to address when dealing with a sex offender.
Church Board Guide to Developing a Risk Management Strategy
Church Board Guide to Developing a Risk Management Strategy
Learn how to develop and implement a risk management strategy in your church.
Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy
Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy
Church leaders and boards can take relatively simple, yet effective steps to reduce the likelihood of child sexual abuse.
Understanding Church Insurance
Understanding Church Insurance
Understand your church's insurance needs to be assured you have adequate coverage.