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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 14, 2013 02:52 PM
From: Representative Mark K. Keller
To: All House members
Subject: Agritainment Legislation
 
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation (Former HB1435) that will provide some protection from civil liability for owners and operators of agritainment activities.

Traditional farmers are finding alternative uses for their land in a growing industry called agritainment, which are tourism-related, recreational or educational activities located on farms in Pennsylvania such as corn mazes, pick-your-own crop harvests, hay rides and farm vacations. Because many activities involve the agritainment business are frequently not covered by customary farm liability policies, farmers face a number of challenges in securing adequate coverage. Under current Pennsylvania law, these entrepreneurial farmers face enormous liability risks when opening up their land to the public.

Agritainment activities involve inherent risks that are impossible to eliminate. it is only reasonable that those who choose to participate in these activities should voluntarily assume part of that risk. My proposal protects owners from lawsuits where no party is at fault of the injury or damages. While the measure provides immunity from litigation in some cases, the right to sue is preserved if an owner is grossly negligent, displays willful or reckless disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally causes the injury.



Introduced as HB397