Legislation to Protect Agritourism Professionals From Liability Approved

February 15, 2013

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Tuesday that would provide liability protection for Oklahoma’s agritourism professionals. Under Senate Bill 931, by Sen. Ron Justice and Rep. Scott Biggs, agritourism professionals would not be liable for any participant injuries or deaths resulting from the inherent risks of agritourism activities as long as a warning is posted prominently on the premises.

Corn Maze“Oklahoma farmers and ranchers offer many agritourism activities like petting farms, horse riding, corn mazes and hay rides that families enjoy. Unfortunately, there are some inherent risks with such activities but being that people willingly participate in them knowing the risks, they shouldn’t be allowed to sue the owner if something happens,” said Justice, R-Chickasha.

The bill states that assumption of risk will be an affirmative defense against any claim for damages against an agritourism professional for agritourism activities.

An agritourism activity is any activity carried out on a farm or ranch that allows members of the general public for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes to view or enjoy rural activities, including farming, ranching, historic, cultural, harvest-your-own activities, or natural activities and attractions. An activity is an agritourism activity whether or not someone pays to participate.

SB 931 was amended to allow for minor clarifications and will now go before the full Senate.

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