WHEELING – An Ohio County tanning salon says a woman who claims her hand was crushed in a tanning bed has no case because she signed a waiver.

Premier Tanning Salon in Triadelphia on Oct. 21 filed a motion for summary judgment in Sheila Abbott’s lawsuit against it. Abbott claims she suffered severe injuries when a tanning bed slammed shut and struck her hand.

Premier Tanning’s memorandum in support says Abbott signed the registration and waiver forms it requires of all its customers.

“Language in a pre-injury exculpatory agreement or anticipatory release stating that a defendant is relieved in effect from all liability for any future loss or damage is sufficiently clear to waive a common-law negligence action, even though the language does not include explicitly the words ‘negligence’ or ‘negligent acts or omissions…’” the tanning salon argued through attorney Teresa Toriseva.

“(T)hese ‘magic words’ are not essential to a clear waiver of the right to bring a common-law negligence action, if the contract as a whole and the circumstances at the time of its execution indicate that both parties intended that waiver.”

The signed consent form bars Abbott’s claims as a matter of law, the memorandum says. The waiver reads:

“I have filled out the questionnaire to the best of my ability and I have been instructed on how to use the tanning equipment. I agree to use the facility at my own risk, I understand the equipment manufactures and this facility make no warranties or representations regarding medical, therapeutic or cosmetic effects of the equipment or the tanning process.

“I hereby release the equipment manufacturers, this facility, its stockholders/owners, its employees and management from any and all claims that I might have now or in the future, for any injury or damage in connection with my use of this facility and its equipment.”

Abbott says she was tanning at the defendant’s facility on March 3, when the top of the tanning bed suddenly fell and crushed her hand. She claims she struggled to get her hand free, and she was temporarily trapped inside the bed.

She claims the defendant failed to adequately maintain the tanning bed, according to the brief.

The plaintiff is seeking an undetermined amount of damages. She is being represented by St. Clairsville, Ohio, attorney John M. Jurco of Jividen Law Offices.

From the West Virginia Record: Reach John O'Brien at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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