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While foreseeability is obviously an important element of the risks which a party impliedly assumes in undertaking an activity, the exact type of negligence which a person expressly agrees to excuse another from need not be foreseen with clarity.
The race driver suffered injuries after losing control of his automobile while competing in the race against other amateur race drivers. The race driver filed his complaint against the operator, claiming that negligent design and maintenance of the track resulted in the collapse of a banked section of the track that precipitated his accident. The operator's answer asserted that the race driver assumed the risk and that the exculpatory clause in the parties' agreement fully released the operator from all liability.
Was the exculpatory clause in the parties’ agreement purporting to release the operator of a motor speedway from liability valid?
The court affirmed the summary judgment rendered for the operator. The exculpatory agreement effectively protected the operator from liability because it was proven valid and sufficiently broad to include the type of accident that occurred. The court found that the race driver, as an amateur, was neither required to race for a livelihood, nor was it an activity necessary to promote the public good. The court found no evidence that the operator was making such a profit as to create a disparity of bargaining power that would have invalidated the agreement. Therefore, the race driver failed to prove that the exculpatory clause was invalid as a matter of law.