What happens if you don’t want to be responsible for certain eventualities? That is called limited liability. After the release of liability form, one can utilize this as their prof of security.
But why is this important in a contract? The contract is the source of the rules of the agreement. If someone agrees to do something or sell something, they may want to try to protect themselves by keeping their level of responsibility as low as possible.
In a previous article, Cindy left her coat at a coat check. The company had put up a sign saying “not responsible for lost or stolen goods.” That is an attempt by the company to reduce is level of responsibility. It sets limit to its liability.
If the contracts address its liability they will then usually closely in favor for the company which wrote the document. When a company tries to reduce their level of responsibility they usually do it through either
- Express disclaimers (i.e. the coat check)
- Limited liability clauses
As this arrangement is driven by paper contracts, we will remain concentrated on the restricted risk provisions, and waivers.
As a reasonable person, you know that any good relationship has boundaries. Clearly Google doesn’t want to be on the hook for things not in their control. Trying to limit the liability is important is part of the ways to set up boundaries. But what happens when there is a loss that is within their control but the boundaries say it is not?
This is where things get a bit messy. Just because a company puts the clause in their agreement, does not mean they are allowed to rely on it. In actuality the law will step in. Sometimes there are particular laws for agreements in particular industries. Insurance, mortgages, etc. Any industry that is regulated usually has regulations for the level of responsibility that must be honored no matter what.
Effectively, if you breach the agreement and Google suffers, they are saying you are responsible. Do you notice that the agreement uses the word responsible here, but liability or liable elsewhere? It is interesting, and very common in contracts. Sometimes the purpose is to make certain provisions clear and other times it is to confuse. So, the use liability waiver.
Every agreement has boundaries of responsibility. The term ‘liability’ is part of the responsibility boundaries. There are always two sides, so make sure you are aware of both sides.
On that counter side, there may be a section that describes the level of responsibility you have. Sometimes, these provisions are not as obvious. In the Google’s terms and conditions there is the clause that sets the boundaries of your responsibilities. More details in this post: http://www.online-learning-info.com/need-damage-liability-waiver/
You may agree that you are exclusively in charge of (and that Google has no duty to you or to any outsider for) any break of your commitments under the terms also for the results (counting any misfortune or harm which Google may endure) of any such break.
If you are about to sign an agreement and the liability clauses is confusing or does not make sense, you should get some legal advice. This is even more important when you are dealing with a regulated industry such as mortgages, investments, etc. Make sure to secure liability waiver.