|Posted:||December 3, 2020 11:36 AM|
|From:||Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Providing Agritourism Business with Limited Liability Protection|
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation aimed at promoting agritourism business in Pennsylvania and providing these businesses with limited liability protection.
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. Many farms throughout Pennsylvania host the public for holiday themed events, tours, and pick your own opportunities. These farmers put significant effort into protecting the public while creating family friendly events and activities that keep farming economically viable in our commonwealth. This measure will help protect farmers to protect the public.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.
Introduced as SB278