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Thompson v. Hi Tech Motorsports, Inc.

945 A.2d 368 (2008)

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Thompson v. Hi Tech Motorsports, Inc.

Vermont Supreme Court

945 A.2d 368 (2008)

Facts

Shayne Thompson (plaintiff) went to Hi Tech Motorsports, Inc. (HTM) (defendant) to test-drive a motorcycle. Thompson told the salesperson she had a valid motorcycle driver’s license and experience riding a 200cc-engine motorcycle. Thompson signed a release acknowledging she had prior motorcycle-driving experience, had a valid license, was familiar with the motorcycle to be test-driven, and understood motorcycle operation was inherently dangerous and accepted the risks. Thompson waived any rights to any claims she might have for injuries. Thompson was unable to control the 750cc motorcycle she test-drove, hit a guardrail, and was injured. Thompson sued HTM for negligence. The court denied HTM’s motion for summary judgment because of factual issues regarding sales representations and granted Thompson’s cross-motion for partial summary judgment, finding the release contrary to public policy. The state supreme court granted review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Reiber, C.J.)

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