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Dalury v. S-K-I, Ltd.

Citation. 670 A.2d 795 (Vt. 1995)
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Brief Fact Summary.

A man was injured skiing, but had signed a waiver releasing the resort of liability.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

An exculpatory contract is void as a matter of public policy.


Plaintiff was skiing at a resort operated by the defendant.  While skiing, he ran into a chair lift pole, and was seriously injured. However, when he bought his ticket to ski the mountain, he signed a release of liability waiver contract, that included a waiver of standing for negligence.


Can the defendant enforce a contract that disclaims negligence?


No, such a contract is void as a matter of public policy.


The court finds that a contract that permits a defendant to be negligent is void as a matter of public policy.  They reason that when a business offers services to the general public, there is a public policy interest in maintaining a level of care far exceeding negligence.  To allow a business to use a contract to circumvent this general interest is in contravention to public policy.

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