McKamey Manor’s Waiver Is Frightening For Lawyers
September 21, 2022
The waiver you have to sign before going through McKamey Manor, described as the world’s most extreme haunted house may be one of the scariest things we’ve ever seen. Yes, even scarier than the haunted house itself—but not just because of what the waiver itself says, which is pretty scary in its own right. The fact that people sign it before experiencing the torture within just makes it that much more frightening.
How Legally Valid Are These Waivers?
It is difficult to say how legally valid these waivers are without knowing the specific content. Generally, if a waiver removes your right to sue, such as release and indemnity agreements, then it is likely invalid in California. However, most states have laws that protect against these types of waivers.
Can Psychologically Damaging Behaviors Lead to a Lawsuit?
In a recent blog post, Nick Douglas asked if McKamey Manor’s waiver, which is posted before visitors enter the property, could be used as grounds for a lawsuit. The waiver is about three pages long and contains some potentially psychologically damaging behaviors,
including being jumped, submersion in water or other liquids, and even threats of death. One of the obligations imposed on visitors in this manner is to accept any risk posed by participating in these activities and specifically acknowledges that McKamey himself has no control over whether or not these events may occur.
The question isn’t an easy one to answer.
Why Aren’t Attorneys Speaking Out About the Legal Issues Surrounding McKamey Manor?
Lawyers must be vigilant about being advocates for clients and protecting their interests. The law does not always offer protection for a person who decides to go it alone with a contractual waiver, even if that waiver is scrupulously reviewed by attorneys. Contractual waivers can be especially frightening for attorneys when it comes to one of the most visceral contracts: the agreement to enter McKamey Manor.
How Should Attorneys Handle Assisting Clients Going Through this Psychological Trauma?
To my fellow attorneys, be careful if your client has already signed the waiver. The waiver is extremely vague and it states that even though you are there at their behest, McKamey Manor will not be liable for anything that happens while they are inside the house.
Also, if a member of your firm goes into the house and experiences severe emotional distress, that person could find themselves in the awkward position of suing themselves or their employer. Lastly, remember that a true risk vs. reward analysis does not exist because nothing can mitigate the real and present risks to an individual’s emotional health at McKamey Manor.
Is it Ethical for Attorneys to Refer Clients to an Experience Such as McKamey Manor?
I think it is ethical for attorneys to refer clients to an experience such as McKamey Manor if they are not being compensated in any way by the company. We cannot allow personal beliefs or values to affect our ability to advocate for our clients, nor our ability to put forth zealous representation.
Sometimes I would like to take on certain cases more than others because of my own set of beliefs; but, at the end of the day, I should be willing and able to represent anyone that walks into my office and asks me for help. This is a legal services-based society in which everyone has the right to representation. When someone decides not to utilize legal counsel and instead relies on their knowledge of the law or goes about their situation without representation, that is a tragedy waiting to happen.
What are Some Considerations for Attorneys Representing Those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
It is important to consider how PTSD affects your clients before ever going into their case. It is crucial to understand that they might be paranoid, experiencing nightmares and panic attacks, feel detached or isolated, and constantly be on edge. A good attorney will take these factors into account before proceeding with the representation. To help clients understand what to expect when meeting with an attorney for the first time, give them this checklist
What is Known About the Aftermath of McKamey Manor? Section: What Does This Mean For Future Attorneys?
Many people who come to McKamey may be unaware of the magnitude of the physical and mental toll this experience takes. There are horror reviews of this haunt stating that it is too intense and not worth it. It may have been meant as a joke but they do warn visitors to take some responsibility for their welfare.
Some people might come out with broken bones or permanent mental scars from a traumatic event like McKamey Manor. The waiver is their attempt to educate those about the possibility of these events and the liability for injuries should they occur.
It seems that you would have more protection if an attorney had drafted your waiver. Instead, it reads as if each visitor is being assumed to give up their right to participate.
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