Exculpatory Clause

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DEFINITION of 'Exculpatory Clause'

A contract provision that relieves one party of liability if damages are caused during the execution of the contract. The party that issues the exculpatory clause is typically the one seeking to be relieved of the potential liability. For example, a venue may print an exculpatory clause on tickets it sells for a concert indicating that it is not responsible for personal injury caused by employees or others during the show.

BREAKING DOWN 'Exculpatory Clause'

While exculpatory clauses are typically upheld, they can be challenged and overturned in court. The court can determine that the clause is unreasonable if both parties in the contract do not have equal bargaining power or if the clause eliminates liability for negligence.

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