HOUSE BILL 49
51st legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2013
James P. White
ENDORSED BY THE LEGISLATIVE FINANCE COMMITTEE
RELATING TO TORT CLAIMS; EXPANDING THE APPLICATION OF THE SPACE FLIGHT INFORMED CONSENT ACT; AMENDING THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH A SPACE FLIGHT ENTITY IS LIABLE UNDER THE SPACE FLIGHT INFORMED CONSENT ACT; REPEALING THE SUNSET PROVISION OF THE ACT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 41-14-1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2010, Chapter 8, Section 1) is amended to read:
"41-14-1. SHORT TITLE.--[This act] Chapter 41, Article 14 NMSA 1978 may be cited as the "Space Flight Informed Consent Act"."
SECTION 2. Section 41-14-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2010, Chapter 8, Section 2) is amended to read:
"41-14-2. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Space Flight Informed Consent Act:
A. "crew" means an employee of a space flight entity who performs activities in the course of that employment directly relating to the launch, reentry or other operation of or in a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle that carries human beings;
B. "launch" means placing or trying to place a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle and any payload, crew or participant in a suborbital trajectory, in earth orbit in outer space or otherwise in outer space. "Launch" includes activities involved in the preparation of a launch vehicle or payload for launch when those activities take place at a launch site in New Mexico;
C. "launch vehicle" means:
(1) a vehicle built to operate in, or place a payload or human beings in, outer space; or
(2) a suborbital rocket;
[A.] D. "participant" means [a space flight participant as that term is defined in 49 U.S.C. Section 70102] an individual who is not crew and who is carried within a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle;
E. "participant injury" means an injury sustained by a participant, including bodily injury, emotional distress, death, property damage or any other loss arising from the participant's participation in space flight activities;
F. "payload" means an object that a person undertakes to place in outer space by means of a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle, including components of the vehicle specifically designed or adapted for that object;
G. "reenter" or "reentry" means to purposefully return or attempt to return a reentry vehicle and its payload, crew or participants from earth orbit or from outer space to earth;
H. "reentry vehicle" means a vehicle, including a reusable launch vehicle, designed to return from earth orbit or outer space to earth substantially intact;
[B.] I. "space flight activities" means [launch services or reentry services as those terms are defined in 49 U.S.C. Section 70102; and]:
(1) activities, including crew training, involved in the preparation of a launch vehicle, payload, crew or participant for launch;
(2) the conduct of a launch;
(3) activities, including crew training, involved in the preparation of a reentry vehicle and payload, crew or participant; and
(4) the conduct of a reentry; and
[C.] J. "space flight entity" means:
(1) a public or private entity holding [a], either directly or through a corporate subsidiary or parent, a license, permit or other authorization issued by the United States federal aviation administration [launch, reentry, operator or launch site license for space flight activities] pursuant to the federal Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, including, but not limited to, a safety approval and a payload determination;
(2) a manufacturer or supplier of components, services or vehicles used by the entity and, if applicable, reviewed by the United States federal aviation administration as part of issuing the license or other authorization; or
(3) an employee, officer, director, owner, stockholder, member, manager or partner of the entity, manufacturer or supplier."
SECTION 3. Section 41-14-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2010, Chapter 8, Section 3) is amended to read:
"41-14-3. [CIVIL IMMUNITY FOR SPACE FLIGHT ENTITIES] LIMITED LIABILITY.--
A. Except as provided in Subsection B of this section, a space flight entity is not liable [for injury to or death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of space flight activities so long as the warning contained in Section 4 of the Space Flight Informed Consent Act is distributed and signed as required. Except as provided in Subsection B of this section, a participant or participant's representative may not maintain an action against or recover from a space flight entity for the loss, damage or death of the participant resulting exclusively from any of the inherent risks of space flight activities] to any person for a participant injury or damages arising out of the participant injury if the participant has signed the agreement and warning required by Section 41-14-4 NMSA 1978.
B. Subsection A of this section does not prevent or limit the liability of a space flight entity if the space flight entity:
(1) commits an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence [or] evidencing willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant and that act or omission proximately causes injury, damage or death to the participant; or
(2) [has actual knowledge or reasonably should have known of a dangerous condition on the land or in the facilities or equipment used in the space flight activities and the danger proximately causes injury, damage or death to the participant; or
(3)] intentionally injures the participant.
C. The limitation on legal liability provided to a space flight entity by the Space Flight Informed Consent Act is in addition to any other limitation of legal liability otherwise provided by law."
SECTION 4. Section 41-14-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2010, Chapter 8, Section 4) is amended to read:
"41-14-4. AGREEMENT AND WARNING [AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT REQUIRED].--
A. A space flight entity providing space flight activities to a participant, whether the activities occur on or off the site of a facility capable of launching a suborbital flight, shall have each participant sign a warning statement. The warning statement shall contain, at a minimum, the following: [statement:
"WARNING AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT
I understand and acknowledge that under New Mexico law, there is no liability for injury to or death sustained by a participant in a space flight activity provided by a space flight entity if the injury or death results from the inherent risks of the space flight activity. Injuries caused by the inherent risks of space flight activities may include, among others, death, bodily injury, emotional injury or property damage. I assume all risk of participating in this space flight activity.".
B. Failure to provide the warning statement requirements in this section to a participant shall prevent a space flight entity from invoking the immunity provided by this section with regard to that participant]
"AGREEMENT AND WARNING
I UNDERSTAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT UNDER NEW MEXICO LAW, A SPACE FLIGHT ENTITY IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY INJURY TO, OR DEATH OF, A PARTICIPANT RESULTING FROM SPACE FLIGHT ACTIVITIES EXCEPT FOR INJURY OR DEATH CAUSED BY THE SPACE FLIGHT ENTITY'S GROSS NEGLIGENCE EVIDENCING WILLFUL OR WANTON DISREGARD FOR THE SAFETY OF THE PARTICIPANT OR CAUSED INTENTIONALLY BY THE SPACE FLIGHT ENTITY. THOSE INJURIES MAY INCLUDE BODILY INJURY, EMOTIONAL DISTRESS, DEATH OR PROPERTY DAMAGE. I UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE ACCEPTED ALL RISK OF INJURY, DEATH, PROPERTY DAMAGE AND OTHER LOSS THAT MAY RESULT FROM SPACE FLIGHT ACTIVITIES EXCEPT FOR THE RISK OF INJURY, DEATH, PROPERTY DAMAGE AND OTHER LOSS THAT MAY RESULT FROM THE SPACE FLIGHT ENTITY'S GROSS NEGLIGENCE EVIDENCING WILLFUL OR WANTON DISREGARD FOR THE SAFETY OF THE PARTICIPANT OR FROM AN INTENTIONAL ACT OR OMISSION OF THE SPACE FLIGHT ENTITY.".
B. An agreement under Subsection A of this section is effective and enforceable and is not unconscionable or against public policy if it is:
(1) in writing;
(2) in a document separate from any other agreement between the participant and the space flight entity other than a different warning, consent or assumption of risk statement;
(3) printed in not less than ten-point bold type; and
(4) signed by the participant."
SECTION 5. REPEAL.--Laws 2010, Chapter 8, Section 5 is repealed.
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