What Is a Release of Liability?

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A release of liability is a form agreement whereby one party waives his legal right to bring a civil law suit against another for any damages he may sustain as a result of the wrongful conduct of the other party.

Binding Contract

Since a release is a legal contract, to be binding it must satisfy the requirements for contract validity.

Requirements for Validity

A release will be valid as long as something of value is received in exchange for agreeing not to enforce a legal right against another party.

Fraudulent Inducement

A release that is obtained due to fraud or misrepresentation by the party seeking the release is invalid and will not be enforced.

Settlement of Civil Suits

When a civil lawsuit is settled, it is common practice for the defendant, in consideration for making a cash payment to the plaintiff, to condition the settlement upon the plaintiff executing a release.

Release Precludes Further Litigation

The release precludes the plaintiff from ever filing suit against the defendant for the same cause of action in the future.