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NJ Sup Ct Finds Public Entities Attempt To Limit Right To Sue Against Public Policy

October 26, 2010

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In <i>Marcinczyk v. State Of New Jersey Police Training Commission</i>, the Supreme Court considered whether an exculpatory agreement that a police recruit executed as a condition of participating in the Somerset County's Police Academy program barred his claims for injuries. On August 5, 2010 in <i>Stelluti v. Casapenn Enterprises</i>, the Supreme Court held that a gym patron of a private health club could not sue for injuries sustained on faulty exercise equipment because she had signed a lawsuit waiver as a condition of her membership.
While the Supreme Court enforced the waiver of liability in the private health club setting, it found that a government run institution violated public policy by doing the same thing. The Court found that the agreement signed by Marcinczyk was invalid because it contravened public policy as expressed in the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. The Court found that a public entity cannot condition the provision of a public service on the recipient's execution of a waiver of liability.
Please contact Robert Ball with any questions regarding either of these opinons.
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