Whenever you participate in a gym or some other related facility such as a rock climbing gym, the business forces you to fill out an annoying long waiver where you promise not to sue them if you accidentally kill yourself with a barbell. But why is this the case? Couldn't the gym just hang a giant "you may die if you enter this door" sign in the front and absolve themselves of all responsibility?

I've been a member of several gyms when I lived in Europe and never had to sign a waiver, so I do know its legally possible in some jurisdictions.

  • @GeorgeWhite doesn't seem to be a problem in many other areas of law - i.e. there's no contract to sign when you board a bus, but you can still be charged for fare evasion. Aug 26, 2020 at 23:08
  • You might see that a signature is better proof that the notice was actually seen, and something tangible to take into court. Regarding a sign - how to prove a sign was up on a specific day? Aug 26, 2020 at 23:22
  • @GeorgeWhite how does a public transit company prove that it had a sign about needing to pay before entering the bus? And how does it work in Europe where no waivers are required, in at least some countries? Aug 26, 2020 at 23:55
  • I commented rather than answered becasue I do not have a full understanding. I see someone knowledgeable has given an actual answer. Aug 27, 2020 at 2:01
  • @JonathanReez fare evasion is usually forbidden by law, at least in the US. Therefore, no explicit contract is necessary. For example, M.G.L. ch.159A §16 covers evasion of bus fare in MA (among other statutes).
    – A. R.
    Feb 1, 2021 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


A signed waiver provides more definitive proof of knowledge and consent than a sign posted on a wall.

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