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The Arizona bull run is back after a 10 year hiatus, and it comes with a 7-page waiver. This isn't Pamplona, after all.
Hundreds of runners are expected to descend on Cave Creek next weekend, where they will be chased by 1,500-pound bulls. Despite no reported injuries at his three previous runs, event operator Phil Immordino isn't taking any chances.
He has $2 million in insurance coverage, and participants must sign and initial each part of the waiver.
Waivers aren't exactly new in the area of uh, extreme sports. It's standard practice to have participants sign a release of liability. It's simply not viable to hold events when there is an incredibly high risk of legal action.
This doesn't mean that organizers can never be sued. Waivers are rarely 100% effective.
Most courts do not enforce waivers when a plaintiff alleges gross negligence or intentional conduct. To do otherwise would allow businesses to actively ignore customer safety.
How does this apply to the Arizona bull run?
Well, gross negligence is the blatant and conscious disregard for the safety of others. To be sued, Immordino would have to ignore safety warnings, or do something to purposefully place runners in harm's way. He could also be sued if he skimped on necessary and basic safety mechanisms.
Luckily, Immordino doesn't seem to have done any of the above. The Arizona bull run will be staffed by paramedics and trained rodeo clowns, and the New York Times reports that its bulls are less aggressive than those found in Spain.
Their horns also aren't as sharp.