Pre-Injury Liability Waivers in Rhode Island

Likelihood of Enforcement: High

In Rhode Island, “a release is a contractual agreement governed by the principles of contract law. See Young v. Warwick Rollermagic Skating Center, Inc., 973 A.2d 553, 558 (R.I.2009). Three factors are assessed in determining the validity of a liability release: “(1) the existence of consideration for the release, (2) the experience of the person executing the release, and (3) the question of whether the person executing the release was represented by counsel.” Guglielmi v. Rhode Island Hospital Trust Financial Corp., 573 A.2d 687, 689 (R.I.1990); “Finding satisfactory answers to these questions, the court will find a release to be valid and binding unless it has been procured through fraud, misrepresentation, overreaching, or a material mistake on the part of either party.” Id. (citing Bonniecrest Development Co. v. Carroll, 478 A.2d 555, 559 (R.I.1984)); See Takian v. Rafaelian, 53 A.3d 964, 974 (R.I.2012) (enforcing liability release); Young v. Warwick Rollermagic Skating Center, Inc., 973 A.2d 553, 559–61 (R.I.2009)(same); McClanaghan v. Costa, 655 A.2d 695, 695 (R.I.1995) (mem.); Guglielmi, 573 A.2d at 689; see also DeSenne v. Jamestown Boat Yard, Inc., 781 F.Supp. 866, 869–70 (D.R.I.1991) (acknowledging Guglielmi sets forth the Rhode Island law on releases). See, e.g., Guglielmi, 573 A.2d at 689.  

Last updated 12/2018

This assessment of the enforceability of waivers has been prepared by non-lawyer law students and does not constitute legal advice.