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Should you sign that waver before parachuting?

Companies that offer high-risk activities (parachuting, rafting or zip lining) will often require participants to sign a document limiting or completely exonerating the companies’ responsibility for any injuries that may happen.  For many companies, signing such a document is a mandatory condition for participation in the activity; if you refuse to sign, they will refuse you access to the activity.

What is the legal value of such a stipulation?

In Quebec, a company or any other person, cannot free himself from his civil liability regarding bodily injury.  In fact, article 1474 of the Civil Code of Quebec states that a person “may not in any way exclude or limit his liability for bodily or moral injury caused to another”.  Therefore, even though it is common practice to have such documents signed, they in fact have no legal value.

Therefore, if you have signed such a document and have suffered bodily injury, fear not, your rights are still intact, so don’t hesitate to contact your lawyer.

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