Winterstein v. Wilcom

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, 1972.

16 Md.App. 130, 293 A.2d 821.

Prosser, pp. 601-604


Facts: Winterstein got injured while driving in a speed contest on a drag racetrack.  He had signed a waiver that said he wouldn’t sue the racetrack owner as a condition of entering the contest.  The plaintiff sued anyway, saying that the waiver should be invalidated on the grounds of public policy.  The trial court dismissed his claims, and the plaintiff appealed.


Issue: Is the agreement by the plaintiff to assume the risk enforceable?


Rule: Parties are permitted to contract out of duty of care as long as the bargaining is “free and open” and the agreement doesn’t affect the “public interest”.






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