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New Cases of Interest - December 19, 2011
Lewis Operating Corp. v. Superior Court (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 940. Landlord had contracted for a health club/exercise facility in its building as an amenity to tenants. A tenant was injured while using the treadmill at that exercise facility, and brought an action against the landlord for the injury. The underlying lease agreement with the tenant contained a clause in which the tenant agreed to assume all risk of harm resulting from his use of the exercise facility, and to waive any claims against the landlord. The Court of Appeal held that the exculpatory clause was enforceable and not in violation of Civil Code §1953(a)(5) or public policy. While the court expressed its concern regarding the waiver language and its potential violation of Civil Code §§ 1714 and 1953, the court concluded that the landlord’s duty to maintain common amenities did not trigger the application of Civil Code §1953 in this instance.