HOUSE BILL 488
52nd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2015
Candy Spence Ezzell
RELATING TO CIVIL LIABILITY; PROVIDING FOR LIMITED LIABILITY IN AGRITOURISM ACTIVITIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Agritourism Limited Liability Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Agritourism Limited Liability Act:
A. "agricultural products" means any livestock, poultry or aquacultural, horticultural, floricultural, viticultural, silvicultural or other farm crops;
B. "agritourism activity" means 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, winemaking, ranching, historical, cultural, harvest-your-own activities or natural activities and attractions. An activity is an "agritourism activity" regardless of whether the participant paid to participate in the activity;
C. "agritourism professional" means any person who is engaged in the business of providing one or more agritourism activities, whether or not for compensation;
D. "farm or ranch" means one or more areas of land used for the production, cultivation, growing, harvesting or processing of agricultural products;
E. "inherent risks of agritourism activity" means those dangers or conditions that are an integral part of an agritourism activity, including:
(1) surface and subsurface conditions;
(2) natural conditions of land, vegetation and waters;
(3) behavior of wild or domestic animals;
(4) ordinary dangers of structures or equipment ordinarily used in farming and ranching operations; and
(5) the potential of a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to injury to the participant or others, including failing to follow instructions given by an agritourism professional or failing to exercise reasonable caution while engaging in an agritourism activity; and
F. "participant" means any person, other than an agritourism professional, who engages in an agritourism activity.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] LIABILITY LIMITED--LIABILITY ACTIONS PROHIBITED.--
A. Except as provided in Subsection B of this section:
(1) an agritourism professional is not liable for injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of agritourism activities so long as the warning notice specified in Subsection C of Section 4 of the Agritourism Limited Liability Act is posted as required; and
(2) no participant or participant's representative is authorized to maintain an action against or recover from an agritourism professional for injury, loss, damage or death of the participant resulting exclusively from any of the inherent risks of agritourism activities, provided that in any action for damages against an agritourism professional for agritourism activity, the agritourism professional shall plead the affirmative defense of assumption of the inherent risks of agritourism activity by the participant.
B. Nothing in Subsection A of this section shall prevent or limit the liability of an agritourism professional if the agritourism professional:
(1) commits an act or omission that constitutes negligence or willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, and that act or omission proximately causes injury, damage or death to the participant;
(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 agritourism activity, or the dangerous propensity of a particular animal used in the activity, does not make the dangerous condition or propensity known to the participant, and the dangerous condition or propensity proximately causes injury, damage or death to the participant; or
(3) intentionally injures the participant.
C. Any limitation on legal liability provided by this section to an agritourism professional is in addition to any other limitations of legal liability otherwise provided by law.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] REQUIRED WARNINGS AND NOTICES.--
A. The limitation of liability provided in Section 3 of the Agritourism Limited Liability Act is applicable to agritourism activities only if signs that contain the warning notice specified in Subsection C of this section are posted at a farm or ranch where the agritourism activities are to take place. Such signs shall be placed in a clearly visible location at the entrance to a farm or ranch where the agritourism activity is to take place and at the site of the agritourism activity. The warning notice shall consist of a sign in black letters, with each letter to be a minimum of one inch in height.
B. Every written contract entered into by an agritourism professional for the providing of professional services, instruction or the rental of equipment to a participant, whether or not the contract involves agritourism activities on or off the farm or ranch or at the site of the agritourism activity, shall contain in clearly readable print the warning notice specified in Subsection C of this section.
C. The signs and contract provision described in Subsections A and B of this section shall contain the following notice of warning:
"WARNING: Pursuant to New Mexico law, there is no liability for an injury to or the death of a participant in an agritourism activity conducted at this farm or ranch if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of the agritourism activity. Inherent risks of agritourism activities include risks of injury inherent to land, equipment and animals, as well as the potential for you to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury or death. You are assuming the risk of participating in this agritourism activity.".
D. Failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning signs and notices set forth in this section shall prevent an agritourism professional from invoking the privileges of immunity provided by the Agritourism Limited Liability Act.
SECTION 5. SEVERABILITY.--If any part or application of the Agritourism Limited Liability Act is held invalid, the remainder or its application to other situations or persons shall not be affected.
SECTION 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2015.
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