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City of Santa Barbara v. Superior Court

41 Cal. 4th 747 (2007)

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City of Santa Barbara v. Superior Court

California Supreme Court

41 Cal. 4th 747 (2007)

Facts

Katie Janeway’s mother, Maureen Janeway (Maureen) (plaintiff), signed a release form in order for Katie to participate in a summer camp run by the City of Santa Barbara (the city) (defendant). The form released the city from liability “for any negligent act” related to Katie and the summer camp. Katie drowned while attending the city’s summer camp. Maureen sued the city for wrongful death. The city argued that the form Maureen signed released it from all claims. The California Court of Appeal held that the release was effective as to ordinary negligence, but unenforceable as to gross negligence. The city appealed the holding regarding gross negligence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (George, C.J.)

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