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Jones v. Dressel

Colorado Supreme Court
623 P.2d 370 (1981)



When he was 17 years old, Michael Jones (plaintiff) entered into a contract with Free Flight Sport Aviation, Inc. (Free Flight) (defendant), which offered recreational skydiving services, including transportation by airplane to the jump site. The contract included an exculpatory clause releasing Free Flight, its owners, agents, and employees from any liability for losses or injury sustained by Jones in using Free Flight’s services, including its aircraft, even if the harm was caused by negligence. An alternative provision waived the exculpatory clause in exchange for a $50 dollar payment, but that provision was crossed out when Jones received the agreement to sign. Jones did not ask that the alternative provision be made available to him, making it unclear whether Free Flight would have done so. The following year, after Jones turned 18, he sustained serious injuries in a crash of a Free Flight airplane en route to a jump site. A year later, Jones sued Free Flight, the plane’s owners and operators, and the Littleton Airport (defendants), alleging negligence and willful and wanton conduct. A Colorado trial court granted defendants’ partial motion for summary judgment on the issue of simple negligence. An appellate court affirmed. Jones appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Erickson, J.)

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