|Posted:||December 2, 2020 11:34 AM|
|From:||Representative Barbara Gleim|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Providing Agritourism Business with Limited Liability Protection (Former HB1348)|
|In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation aimed at promoting agritourism business in Pennsylvania and providing these businesses with limited liability protection. The language from former HB 1348, which was passed the House with strong bipartisan support, was included by the Senate in former HB 1737, which Governor Wolf vetoed on November 30, 2020. The veto message focused on unrelated language within HB 1737.
Agritourism, such as pick-your-own businesses and corn mazes, is growing in popularity as farmers look to create a secondary source of income. However, under current law, these farmers face enormous liability risks when they open their land to the public for a fee. Because these activities take place on a farm, there are risks present that a farmer cannot take away, like uneven ground, or unpredictable animals and weather.
Specifically, my legislation would protect agritourism business from lawsuits where no party is at fault for injuries or damages. The legislation would require that farmers post multiple signs warning visitors of the risks, or ask visitors to sign a waiver of liability before participating in activities. While the legislation provides some immunity from litigation, the right to sue is preserved if an owner acts in a grossly negligent manner or operates with no regard for public safety.
This proposed legislation is modeled after Acts passed in 20 other states, including our neighbors in New York and Ohio. As our family farms look to diversify, we need to update laws to help with the promotion and protection of these unique agriculture businesses. Before I became a Representative, my family hosted the public on our farm throughout the fall with Halloween-themed events and attractions. I know first-hand the work that farmers put into protecting the public, while creating family-friendly events and activities.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.
Previous Co-sponsors: GREINER, CAUSER, PYLE, ECKER, M. K. KELLER,
BERNSTINE, ZIMMERMAN, GILLESPIE, PICKETT, GROVE, KAUFFMAN,
JOZWIAK, OWLETT, MENTZER, HERSHEY, STRUZZI, PASHINSKI, HAHN,
RYAN, IRVIN, MILLARD, BURGOS, BOROWICZ, LAWRENCE, SNYDER,
GREGORY, KLUNK, WARNER, OBERLANDER, RADER, KAIL, GAYDOS,
METCALFE, ROTHMAN, REESE, RIGBY, MOUL, TOPPER, KEEFER, JONES,
DUSH, DUNBAR, EVERETT, HICKERNELL, MUSTELLO, SCHLEGEL CULVER,
GILLEN, ROWE, SCHEMEL, JAMES, MACKENZIE AND POLINCHOCK,
Introduced as HB101