Olsen v. Breeze
California Court of Appeal
55 Cal. Rptr. 2d 818 (1996)
Philip Olsen (plaintiff) took his skis to Breeze, Inc. (defendant) to adjust the bindings. As a condition of Breeze returning Olsen’s skis, Breeze required Olsen to sign a release form that released Breeze from all liability for injury resulting from use of the skis. Olsen refused to sign the form, and Breeze refused to return his skis. These types of releases were standard in the ski equipment industry. Ski-equipment distributors indemnified equipment retailers, but only if the retailers obtained a release from the end user. Olsen sued ski-equipment distributors (defendants) and Breeze, alleging that the requirement of a release constituted unfair competition because it was unconscionable. Ski distributors quickly modified their required releases to be either (1) a release of a finite list of claims that did not include strict liability, or (2) a release of all claims, but expressly excluding claims that the law prohibits. The superior court granted the defendants summary judgment. Olsen appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Puglia, J.)
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