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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do any of you use one?

I contacted three local personal injury attorneys about having them draw up a waiver when I allow another person (outside of a bona fide trainer, decoy, etc.) to take a bite from my dog. They all advised me that they don't perform these types of services.

I found a sky-diving waiver on-line and modified it for my own purposes. I have copied and pasted it below and I would appreciate any and all feedback on this matter. Thanks in advance.

Dog Bite-Work Training
Liability Release, Waiver, Discharge and Covenant Not to Sue

This is a legally binding Release, Waiver, Discharge and Covenant Not to Sue (collectively, “Release”), made voluntarily by me, the undersigned Releasor, on my own behalf.

As the undersigned Releasor, I fully recognize that there are dangers and risks to which I may be exposed by participating in bite-work exercises with a dog that is trained to attack and to bite. I understand that engaging in bite-work with a dog that is trained to attack and bite carries the risk of injury to me. I acknowledge that it is possible that a bite-work trained dog may bite me in an unprotected area and cause me grievous injury. As the undersigned Releasor, I choose to participate in this activity despite the possible dangers and risks and despite this Release. I agree to assume and take on myself all of the risks and responsibilities in any way arising from or associated with the Activity, and I release Patrick Murray and his heirs from any and all claims, demands, suits, judgments, damages, actions and liabilities of every name and nature whatsoever, whenever occurring, whether known or unknown, contingent or fixed, at law or in equity, that I may suffer at any time arising from or in connection with the Activity, including any injury or harm to me, my death, or damage to my property (collectively “Liabilities”), and I agree to defend, indemnify, and save Releasees harmless from and against any and all Liabilities.

As the undersigned Releasor, I recognize that this Release means I am giving up, among other things, all rights to sue Releasees for injuries, damages or losses I may incur. I also understand that this Release binds my heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives and assigns, as well as myself. I also affirm that I have adequate medical or health insurance to cover any medical assistance I may require.

I have read this entire Release. I fully understand the entire Release and acknowledge that I have had the opportunity to review this Release and I agree to be legally bound by the Release.

THIS IS A RELEASE OF YOUR RIGHTS. READ CAREFULLY AND UNDERSTAND BEFORE SIGNING.


_______________________________
(Releasor’s Signature)

_______________________________
(Print Name)

_______________________________
(Date)
 

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I'm not sure about where you are, but these waivers generally do not hold up in court in most states

just a suggestion:
there is a certain implied risk for "professional" / certified trainers, but still, when a person is hurt and there are sizable medical bills better be sure that person has health insurance or make sure you have some sport or homeowners insurance.
 

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give me a week and i'll try and give you an answer from the insurance perspective--i'm going to a seminar this week and will try to pick some brains for a general idea.
 

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hey patrick, well, here's what i found out at the insurance seminar: the best thing you (and this applies to clubs also!!!!) can do is to simply buy a $1 million general liability policy (if it's a club, have the officers as beneficiaries).

3 simple reasons:
1) ANYONE can sue you for ANY reason at ANY time and it will not cost them one penny to file the lawsuit.
2) for the (approx) $500/yr premium, the insurance company will provide an attorney. (can you hire an attorney independently to fight a suit of this sort? OF COURSE NOT!!!!!)
3) the "hold harmless waiver" may look good on paper, but see #1 (especially, depending upon the laws in your state, the hold harmless "heirs/estate" stuff. unless his/her spouse/beneficiaries ALSO sign this, it's basically just paper. shreds as good as those bills you "never got", right?)

so that's the answer i got, and i got it from 2 different ppl that have been in the property/casuality and life/health fields, AND have been involved in sporting-type clubs for over 70 years combined.

and it makes sense to me. a LOT of sense. so there you all have the info, do with it what you will :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ann, thank you for looking into this and sharing your information with all of us here. We can all benefit from it.
 

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I would take out the verbage about "a dog that is trained to attack and bite, and replace it with a dog that is trained to subdue and apprehend a criminal perpatrator (sp?) of which for training value you are agreeing to participate and pretend to be a criminal perpatrator and agree to allow a trained K9 to apprehend you. You can re-word it, but, I wouldn't use bite, nor trained to attack in any legal verbage that could be used in court. It just sounds bad to the uneducated. Good luck keep us informed of any research on this. thanks.

~CHRIS DUHON
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Absolutely Kristina. I would like to get up there soon. I'll try to call you and see when you're available.

Thanks for the input Chris. I think that sounds good. I think a well written waiver doesn't hurt and might even help. I'll let y'all know what I learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
well, at any rate, it might make them "think" a little about what they're attempting to do and what the consequences could be.
It might also make them think they've forfeited their right to sue. And, if ever sued, the "waiver", if written well (as Chris suggested), could (I didn't say "would", I said "could") mitigate some of the damage. At least I think it's reasonable to surmise this.

I know there is the "real" world and the "legal" world. I would like to think that a well written "waiver" might favorably influence a judge or jury in the event a working dog bites a reasonable person (not retarded, mentally ill, etc.) of legal age and who themselves may own a "working" dog or want to own a working dog and who has, by their own free will, chosen to participate in the training of such dogs. I hope I never have to find out but in the meantime I will certainly restrict those taking bites from my dog to actual "trainers" and known decoys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Patrick,
You should ask Ken about this when you come up to train. Dog trainer + Law Degree...you do the math :D
Hey Kristina. As I mentioned earlier I'll definitely talk to Ken about this when I make it up there. In the meantime, if Ken has the inclination and the time, I'm sure everyone here would appreciate the benefit of his perspective on the matter. He's certainly most-qualified to give it! :)
 
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