“Lawsuit Abuse Kills Puppies,” reports Ted Frank at Overlawyered. “Rogier von Bakel is furious at his local SPCA because they would rather put a dog to sleep than place it with his family with small children. See, they’re worried about getting sued if the dog bites one of the children. Von Bakel can’t believe it: he’s even willing to sign a waiver” of his right to sue.
But thanks to the courts, which often invalidate such waivers at the behest of trial lawyers, the SPCA legitimately fears that any such waiver would be unenforceable. So much for freedom of contract — and the life of a puppy that could otherwise have found a loving home with a family with children. Sensible waivers of liability are struck down not just in politically-correct places like New Jersey (whose courts issue many weird, deeply disturbing rulings), but even in supposedly conservative states like Utah. My wife wants to adopt a pet from a shelter, but since we have a baby daughter, maybe that won’t be possible for us.