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There's a company near where I live called House of Air; it's a trampolining thing so, naturally, it has a waiver which explains as specifically as possible the many and varied ways you could accidentally die / become completely paralyzed.

Naturally, it makes for light and fun reading.

Most of it makes perfect sense, until this part (emphasis mine):

Waiver of Liability for Ordinary Negligence of House of Air

In consideration of permission to use the property, facilities, equipment, and services of House of Air, today and on all future dates, I (on behalf of myself, my child or ward, my spouse, heirs, personal representatives, my estate, my parents and assigns – referred to hereafter as “RELEASING PARTIES”) do hereby waive, release, discharge and covenant not to sue House of Air, LLC, the United States of America, and The Presidio Trust, and their respective owners, directors, officers, employees, volunteers, independent contractors, agents, affiliates, successors, assigns, and equipment suppliers — referred to hereafter as “PROTECTED PARTIES”) from liability from any and all claims arising from the use of the House of Air facilities including any injury resulting from the ordinary negligence of the PROTECTED PARTIES.

I should specify- I'm in the U.S., so I'm guessing that has something to do with why that's in there.

But still, why on earth is it specifying that I can't sue my country? I haven't read all that many waivers of liability, but nonetheless this isn't the first one I've read, and I've never seen that particular clause before.

I am somewhat nonplussed.

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House of Air is located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, in land owned by the US government and managed by the Presidio Trust (a corporation wholly owned by the US government). As the US government owns the land, and a government-owned corporation leased it to House of Air, House of Air's waiver indemnifies them. It looks odd, but it's just because the US government happens to be House of Air's landlord, and House of Air is indemnifying their landlord.

  • Hm. So what if I wanted to sue the government for something related to the establishment (say, lax inspection standards on the part of the government), but not in the government's capacity as landlord (so, in the same way that someone might sue a different establishment without that in their waiver, where the government isn't the landlord)? Or is that not a thing people do? (I'm not planning on suing anyone; just interested.) – Parthian Shot Jul 27 '15 at 22:14
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    @ParthianShot There's a good chance you can't sue the government for something like lax inspection standards. As a sovereign entity, the United States is entitled to sovereign immunity: it cannot be sued without its consent. It has consented to suit in certain cases, but with restrictions; one such restriction covers discretionary functions (i.e. if a government employee is performing a discretionary function, whether or not they're abusing their discretion, the US can't be sued over it). – cpast Jul 27 '15 at 22:39
  • Hey if the US can sue random things (like "approximately 65k shark fins) then it's only expected that random things can sue the US. – corsiKa Jul 28 '15 at 1:05
  • @corsiKa I realize that's probably a joke, but the nature of sovereignty is such that these expectations may be frustrated. – phoog Jul 28 '15 at 1:15

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