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Monday, February 17, 2014

Boilerplate and Children: O tempora o mores

Bumper CarsThis afternoon, since school is out (for reasons that are unclear to us), my daughter is going with a group to a "famly fun center" featuring laser tag, a laser maze, go carts, bumper cars and something called the Sky Trail.  The organization that is arranging the group outing sent me the fun center's standard waiver form which, not surprisingly these days, states that I waive any claims I might have against the fun center for, among other things,  serious  injury, including the death of my daughter while she does whatever one does on a Sky Trail, even if that serious injury or death is the result of the fun center's negligence.  

I took the liberty of crossing out the offensive language, which I would hope would be unenforceable in any case.  Since I will not be with my daughter when she hands in the waiver form, there will be nothing to do if the fun center refuses to accept it, but I am counting on them not noticing.  I guess I will find out when she gets home and either tells me how awesome the Sky Trail was or slams her door and doesn't speak to me for a week.

The truth is, if my daughter were killed due to the fun center's negligence, a law suit would not improve my life in any way, help me heal or make me feel somehow that justice had been done.  Wrangling over responsibility for her death would only prolong the agony of losing a child.  Still, I cannot sign the form as is and it seems farcical to me to suggest that any parents would  really want to turn their children over to the custody of strangers and then pardon those strangers in advance for their deadly negligence. 

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