Degliomini v. ESM Prod., Inc.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that an exculpatory release, signed by a participant in a charity bike ride and designed to immunize the City of Philadelphia, was unenforceable. The Court found that the release violated public policy because the City would have been immunized from an essential duty of public service. The plaintiff was injured when he rode into “an unmarked and un-barricaded sinkhole on Pattison Avenue in South Philadelphia, which measured sixteen square feet in area and six inches deep.” The City sought to dismiss the claim by invoking the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act. The trial court denied the City’s motion, and a jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff. The Commonwealth Court reversed, holding that the waiver was enforceable. The Supreme Court reversed and reinstated the jury’s verdict.

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