SSHB 273: "An Act relating to the right of a parent to waive a child's claim of negligence against a provider of sports or recreational activities."
00 SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 273 01 "An Act relating to the right of a parent to waive a child's claim of negligence against a 02 provider of sports or recreational activities." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 FINDINGS AND INTENT. (a) The legislature finds that 07 (1) children of this state should enjoy the maximum opportunity to participate 08 in sports or recreational activities despite the presence of risk in those activities; 09 (2) public, private, and nonprofit entities that provide sports or recreational 10 activities to children of the state need and deserve a measure of protection against lawsuits 11 and, without that measure of protection, may be unwilling or unable to provide the activities; 12 (3) parents have a fundamental right and responsibility to make decisions 13 concerning the care, custody, and control of their children; 14 (4) the law has long presumed that parents are in the best position to determine
01 what is in the best interests of their children; 02 (5) parents are accustomed to making conscious choices on behalf of their 03 children every day regarding the benefits and risk of various activities available to their 04 children; and 05 (6) parental choices, when made voluntarily upon consideration of appropriate 06 information, should not be ignored, but should be afforded the same dignity and legal effect as 07 other parental choices, including choices regarding education and medical treatment. 08 (b) It is the intent of this Act to 09 (1) encourage the availability and affordability of sports or recreational 10 activities to children in this state by recognizing the right of a parent to choose to release, on 11 behalf of the parent's child, prospective negligence-based claims that the child may accrue 12 against the provider of a sports or recreational activity; 13 (2) encourage the broad construction of the Act to shield providers of sports or 14 recreational activities from liability for the negligence-based claims of a child that were 15 released through a waiver or release-style document executed by the child's parent; 16 (3) ensure that this Act is not construed to permit a parent to release or waive 17 claims of a child against a provider of a sports or recreational activity that allege wilful, 18 wanton, reckless, or grossly negligent acts or omissions. 19 * Sec. 2. AS 09.65 is amended by adding a new section to read: 20 Sec. 09.65.292. Parental waiver of child's negligence claim against 21 provider of sports or recreational activity. (a) Except as provided in (b) of this 22 section, a parent may, on behalf of the parent's minor child, release or waive the child's 23 prospective claim for negligence against the provider of a sports or recreational 24 activity in which the child participates. The release or waiver must be in writing and 25 shall be signed by the child's parent. 26 (b) A parent may not release or waive a minor child's prospective claim 27 against a provider of a sports or recreational activity for wilful, wanton, reckless, or 28 grossly negligent acts or omissions. 29 (c) In this section, 30 (1) "parent" means the 31 (A) child's natural or adoptive parent;
01 (B) child's guardian, but not the state if the child is in the legal 02 custody of the state; 03 (C) person who is acting in the place of a child's natural or 04 adoptive parent, including a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child 05 lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child's welfare; or 06 (D) child's surrogate parent who has been appointed under 07 AS 14.30.325; 08 (2) "provider" has the meaning given in AS 09.65.290; 09 (3) "sports or recreational activity" has the meaning given in 10 AS 09.65.290. 11 * Sec. 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 12 read: 13 APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to acts or omissions that occur on or after the 14 effective date of sec. 2 of this Act.