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Richards v. Richards

Wisconsin Supreme Court
513 N.W.2d 118 (1994)


Facts

Leo Richards drove trucks for Monkem Co. (defendant). Leo’s wife Jerilyn (plaintiff) wanted to be able to ride with Leo. Monkem sent Jerilyn a preprinted form titled “Passenger Authorization,” and Jerilyn signed it. This form authorized Jerilyn to ride with Leo in his Monkem truck. The form also claimed that Jerilyn was releasing all past, current, and future claims of any kind against Monkem or any affiliated entities for any injuries sustained as a passenger in any vehicle or while on Monkem’s or a related company’s property. While Jerilyn was riding with Leo, the Monkem truck overturned on a curve, injuring Jerilyn. Jerilyn sued to recover for her injuries, and Monkem raised the authorization agreement as a defense. The trial court and appellate court both found that the exculpatory provisions shielding Monkem from any liability were enforceable and prevented Jerilyn from recovering anything for her injuries. Jerilyn appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Abrahamson, J.)

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