The University of California, Berkeley introduced a new liability waiver this Fall Semester. If students refuse to sign the waiver, they'll be barred from using the campus gym and other sports facilities starting this September. Here's the waiver in question:
In consideration of permission to use, today and on all future dates, the property, facilities, staff, equipment, services, and programs of the Recreational Sports Department, I, for myself, my heirs, personal representatives or assigns, do hereby release, waive, discharge, and covenant not to sue The Regents of the University of California, its directors, officers, employees, and agents from liability from any and all claims including the negligence of the Recreational Sports Department Facilities and Programs resulting in personal injury, accidents or illnesses (including death), and property loss arising from, but not limited to, participation in activities, classes, observation, and use of facilities, premises, or equipment.
The part that concerns me is "I... do hereby release... The Regents of the University of California... from any and all claims including [claims related to use of the RSF]."
By my reading, this is very broad, releasing the University from all legal claims.
I have two questions:
- Is my reading correct? We've had a discussion on my department mailing list about whether "including" here acts as a qualifier that limits the scope of "all claims" to just those involving use of the RSF. Or, does "including" only strengthen "all claims," such as to explicitly include those arising from negligence?
- Is signing this waiver likely to impact students' legal claims against the university concerning matters unrelated to use of the RSF? Do California or Federal Law, respectively, provide any protections that would make parts of this waiver unenforceable? Suppose a graduate student has a spat with the university over intellectual property, or suppose a student is injured due to university negligence around a construction site. Could this impact their right to sue, etc.?