For individuals, businesses, and organizations based in New York, crafting a high-quality release of liability form can be challenging. With the potential legal and financial implications of using an incorrect, outdated, or insufficient document, engaging an experienced legal team is the safest and most efficient way to protect your interests. To help you understand the different components of a release of liability form, UpCounsel’s team of business lawyers has compiled a guide outlining the top five things to consider when creating a formal release of liability document for a business in New York.

Define the Scope and Applicability of the Release of Liability

Release of liability forms typically come in two forms: a release of all claims document or a release of specific claims document. A release of all claims document is an agreement to absolve the released parties from any potential “liability, claims, costs, damages, losses, and expenses” which have arisen or may arise in the future relating to the specified subject matter. Conversely, a release of specific claims document is used to release specified liabilities, claims, costs, damages, losses, or expenses related to a single event or transaction that a business may have encountered.

Include all Necessary Parties Involved

It is important to identify and include all potential parties who may be liable in the situation. This includes any individual, organization, or entity involved in the event or transaction specified in the release. It is important to recognize that, by including parties in the release of liability, they will be absolved of all responsibilities regarding the subject matter; as such, it is important to ensure that all parties listed are, in fact, relevant to the situation. The same holds true in the case of omitting parties from the release – any individual or entity not listed will not be protected by the document, meaning they could still face potential liabilities, costs, damages, losses, or expenses.

Specify Time Periods and Venues of the Release of Liability

When drafting a release of liability, ensure that the document includes the time period the release of liability applies to as well as any relevant locations and venues tied to the subject matter of the document. If either are left unclear, certain claims made by parties not included in the release of liability may not fall under the scope of the document and may still be valid.

Make Sure to Include an As Is Clause

An As Is Clause, also known as an “as is” clause, a “no warranties” clause, or a “no guarantees” clause, stipulates that the goods or services being provided are done so without any expressed or implied guarantees or warranties. This clause states that the goods or services provided are made available as is and in the condition that they are at the time of the exchange. This clause commonly finds its way in real estate contracts, and may be included in a release of liability form to ensure both parties are aware of any preexisting conditions relevant to the agreement.

Understand the Severability Clause

A severability clause is a clause found in a contract, agreement, or document which stipulates that, in the event that a single provision or part of the contract is deemed invalid, the remainder of the contract will still remain in effect. This clause serves as a way for affected parties to continue negotiations in the aftermath of a contract dispute, and would be included in a release of liability document to protect parties listed from potential liabilities resulting from unforeseen consequences.


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