Erick Plancher was a star football player at Naples Lely High School who went on to play at the University of Central Florida. At an August practice before his freshman year, Erick collapsed and ultimately died from the effects of sickle cell disease.
His family sued the school’s athletic and received a $10-million dollar verdict at trial. On appeal the athletic department claimed that Erick released his potential claims in a written document when he joined the team.
The Appellate Court disagreed. It found the claim to be ineffective. His release had been drafted by sophisticated lawyers hired by the school.
When we sign up for group rides or local races, we are required to sign a release. If you are injured in the event do no assume that the release is effective. Have a lawyer examine it. If the lawyers hired by a state university can draft an ineffective release, so can the lawyers who write one for your local bike event or fun run.