Limits the liability of a farm or "u-pick" operation for injuries incurred while a person was picking and buying agricultural products; expands the limited exemption of a property owner from liability to a property owner who makes their premises available to others for any recreational use and to include owners of underdeveloped and/or land used in agricultural production; enacts the "equine activity safety code act".
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the duty to keep premises safe for certain uses and enacting the "equine activity safety code act"
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To expand the scope of the law to include all recreational activities, rather than only those specifically identified in the statute. The bill will correct the litigious environment created by the present tort system which has raised to cost of insurance premiums to unreasonably high levels and needs to be reformed.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 - amends Section 9-103 of the General Obligations Law ("GOL") by adding a new subdivision 1-a to limit liability of a farm or "u-pick" operation for injuries incurred while a person was picking and buying agricultural products. The farmer or "u-pick" operation is only liable in those cases where the injuries are caused by a condition involving an unreasonable risk of harm when: (a) the owner/operator knew, or should have known, about the condition or risk; and (b) the owner/operator either failed to take reasonable care to make the condition safe or to provide a warning.
Section 2 - amends the GOL by adding a new article 18-B to establish an "Equine Activity Safety Code" hereinafter "Code". The Code provides an exemption from liability of a horse facility operator for an injury of a participation in horse riding offered by the facility if the injury results from the inherent risks of equine activities. This exemption does not apply and liability will attach if one of the following five criteria are met:
(1) the horse facility operator ("operator") provided the equipment, the operator knew or should have known that the equipment was faulty, and the faulty equipment caused the injury; (2) the operator provided the equine (horse, pony, mule or donkey) and failed to reasonably determine both the participant's ability to safely engage in the equine activity and such participant's ability to manage the particular engine; (3) the equine participation sustains injuries due to a dangerous latent condition on the operator's land or facilities that the operator knew, or should have Down, about; (4) the operator acts, or fails to act, in a manner constituting willful or wanton disregard for the participant's safety; or (5) the operator intentionally injuries the participant.
EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: Existing law encourages excessive litigation and a concomitant drain on public and private resources. This bill restores balance to the civil justice system.
JUSTIFICATION: Landowner Recreational Liability: Currently, section 9-103 of the General Obligations Law extends to some landowners a limited immunity from liability to keep premises safe by the use of others for a series of enumerated; recreational activities. The existing law would be strengthened under this bill by reaffirming the legislature's intent, incorporating specific definitions of lands used in agricultural production and undeveloped premises, specifying that the statute applies to these types of properties (whether or not a farm) and expanding the scope of the law to include all recreational activities, rather than only those specifically identified in the statute.
Farm U-Pick and Horseback Riding Operations: Without question, working farms have provided the people of this state with the employment and the fondest memories of gathering applies and berries for grandma's delicious pies, picking out the largest pumpkin in the patch, bringing home the perfect Christmas tree and horseback riding in the country. "U-pick" farms and riding stables provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban lifestyles and provide a chance to see the richness of our agricultural landscapes. However, the increasing threat of frivolous lawsuits bolstered by a policy of open-ended liability has discouraged family farms and stables from opening their homes to the public. The litigious environment created by the present tort system has raised the cost of insurance premiums to unreasonably high levels and needs to be reformed.
"U-pick" farms and riding stables do not seek blanket immunities from liability. Farms and equine facilities should be held responsible for their own acts of gross negligence. However, as a matter of fairness, individuals who take part in "u-pick" activities or horseback riding assume certain risks. Without this type of reform, our farms are truly defenseless against frivolous lawsuits of the "slip and fall" variety. This gradual disappearance of our rural heritage and agricultural landscapes would be unforgivable. At least 30 other states have passed or are considering legislation nearly identical to the proposal advocated for equine activities. In addition, essential reform for "u-pick" operations is supported by 70% of New Yorkers, according to a 1997 statewide Zogby poll.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12 - S.4002/A.1256 JUDICIARY/Judiciary 2010 - S.4567/A.843 JUDICIARY/Judiciary 2009 - A.843 - Judiciary 2007-08 - A.2513 Judiciary 2006 A.10611 Judiciary
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Overall savings to taxpayers due to a reduction in the hidden taxes they pay to support the tort system in New York will be substantial.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that the provisions of section two of this act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become law; and provided further, that the provisions of this act shall apply only to
causes of action commenced on or after the effective date of each applicable section.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2380 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 17, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. RANZENHOFER, LARKIN, MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the duty to keep premises safe for certain uses and enacting the "equine activity safety code act" THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 9-103 of the general obligations law, as amended by chapter 408 of the laws of 1979, paragraph a of subdivision 1 as sepa- rately amended by chapters 141 and 286 of the laws of 1984 and paragraph c of subdivision 1 as added by chapter 174 of the laws of 1980, is amended to read as follows: S 9-103. No duty to keep premises safe for certain uses; responsibil- ity for acts of such users. 1. THE LEGISLATURE REAFFIRMS THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION WHICH IS TO ENCOURAGE PROPERTY OWNERS TO MAKE LAND AND WATER AREAS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC FOR RECREATIONAL OR CONSERVATION PURPOSES BY LIMITING THEIR POTENTIAL LIABILITY EXPOSURE TOWARD PERSONS ENTERING THEREON FOR SUCH PURPOSES. ITS PROVISIONS SHOULD BE CONSTRUED TO ACCOMPLISH THOSE OBJECTIVES. 1-A. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS SECTION: A. "LANDS USED IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION" MEANS LAND AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED ONE OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW, EXCEPT THAT THE PARCEL OF LAND MAY BE LESS THAN TEN ACRES AND STILL QUALIFY. B. "OWNER, LESSEE, OR OCCUPANT" MEANS ANY PERSON ENTITLED TO THE EXCLUSIVE OR NON-EXCLUSIVE USE OR POSSESSION OF THE PREMISES, INCLUDING HOLDERS OF CONSERVATION AND TRAIL EASEMENTS. C. "UNDEVELOPED PREMISES" MEANS PROPERTY EXISTING IN ITS NATURALLY OCCURRING STATE, WITHOUT STRUCTURES, IMPROVEMENTS OR MANMADE OBJECTS CONSTRUCTED, SITUATED OR PLACED ON THE PROPERTY BY THE OWNER, LESSEE,EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00223-01-3 S. 2380 2
OCCUPANT OR OTHER PERSONS. IF PROPERTY CONTAINS BOTH UNDEVELOPED AND DEVELOPED AREAS, THE OWNER, LESSEE OR OCCUPANT OWES NO DUTY TO KEEP THE UNDEVELOPED PORTION OF THE PREMISES SAFE FOR ENTRY OR USE BY OTHERS FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES, BUT NOTHING IN THIS SECTION AFFECTS OR ALTERS THE LIABILITY OF SUCH OWNER, LESSEE OR OCCUPANT TO OTHERS WHO ENTER UPON THE DEVELOPED PORTION OF THE PREMISES. UNDEVELOPED LAND MAY INCLUDE A CLEARED PATH IF IT IS NOT PAVED AND THE PATH SHALL NOT CEASE TO BE "UNDEVELOPED" BECAUSE ITS CREATION OR MAINTENANCE REQUIRES MINOR ALTER- ATION OF LANDSCAPE. LAND DOES NOT CEASE TO BE "UNDEVELOPED" IF THE ONLY MANMADE ALTERATION IS THE PLANTING AND MAINTENANCE OF FLORA, INCLUDING TREES, SHRUBS, FLOWERS, OR GRASS. 2. Except as provided in subdivision
[two]THREE OF THIS SECTION, a. an owner, lessee or occupant of UNDEVELOPED premises OR OF LAND USED IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, whether or not posted as provided in section 11-2111 of the environmental conservation law, AND WHETHER OR NOT A FARM, owes no duty to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for ANY RECREATIONAL USE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO hunting, fishing, organized gleaning as defined in section seventy-one-y of the agriculture and markets law, canoeing, boating, trapping, hiking, cross- country skiing, tobogganing, sledding, speleological activities, horse- back riding, bicycle riding, hang gliding, motorized vehicle operation for recreational purposes, snowmobile operation, cutting or gathering of wood for non-commercial purposes or training of dogs, or to give warning of any hazardous condition or use of or structure or activity on such premises to persons entering for such purposes; b. an owner, lessee or occupant of premises who gives permission to another to pursue any such activities upon such premises does not there- by (1) extend any assurance that the premises are safe for such purpose, or (2) constitute the person to whom permission is granted an invitee to whom a duty of care is owed, or (3) assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to person or property caused by any act of persons to whom the permission is granted. c. an owner, lessee or occupant of a farm, as defined in section six hundred seventy-one of the labor law, whether or not posted as provided in section 11-2111 of the environmental conservation law, owes no duty to keep such farm safe for entry or use by a person who enters or remains in or upon such farm without consent or privilege, or to give warning of any hazardous condition or use of or structure or activity on such farm to persons so entering or remaining. This shall not be inter- preted, or construed, as a limit on liability for acts of gross negli- gence in addition to those other acts referred to in subdivision [two]THREE of this section. [2.]3. This section does not limit the liability which would other- wise exist: a. for willful or malicious failure to guard, or to warn against, a dangerous condition, use, structure or activity; or b. for injury suffered in any case where permission to pursue any of the activities enumerated in this section was granted for a consider- ation other than the consideration, if any, paid to said landowner by the state or federal government, or permission to train dogs was granted for a consideration other than that provided for in section 11-0925 of the environmental conservation law; or c. for injury caused, by acts of persons to whom permission to pursue any of the activities enumerated in this section was granted, to other persons as to whom the person granting permission, or the owner, lesseeS. 2380 3
or occupant of the premises, owed a duty to keep the premises safe or to warn of danger.
[3.]4. Nothing in this section creates a duty of care or ground of liability for injury to person or property. 5. NO CAUSE OF ACTION SHALL ARISE AGAINST THE OWNER, TENANT OR LESSEE OF LAND OR PREMISES FOR INJURIES TO ANY PERSON, OTHER THAN AN EMPLOYEE OR CONTRACTOR OF THE OWNER, TENANT OR LESSEE, WHO IS ON THE LAND OR PREMISES FOR THE PURPOSE OF PICKING AND PURCHASING AGRICULTURAL OR FARM PRODUCTS AT A FARM OR "U-PICK" OPERATION, UNLESS THE PERSON'S INJURIES WERE CAUSED BY A CONDITION WHICH INVOLVED AN UNREASONABLE RISK OF HARM AND ALL OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY: A. THE OWNER, TENANT OR LESSEE KNEW, HAD REASON TO KNOW OF, OR REASON- ABLY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE CONDITION OR RISK. B. THE OWNER, TENANT OR LESSEE FAILED TO EXERCISE REASONABLE CARE TO MAKE THE CONDITION SAFE, OR TO WARN THE PERSON OF THE CONDITION OR RISK. S 2. The general obligations law is amended by adding a new article 18-B to read as follows: ARTICLE 18-B EQUINE ACTIVITY SAFETY CODE SECTION 18-301. SHORT TITLE. 18-302. DEFINITIONS. 18-303. LIABILITY OF PERSONS INVOLVED IN EQUINE ACTIVITIES. 18-304. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. 18-305. POSTING AND NOTIFICATION. S 18-301. SHORT TITLE. THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS THE "EQUINE ACTIVITY SAFETY CODE ACT". S 18-302. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING WORDS OR PHRASES SHALL BE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS: 1. "ENGAGES IN AN EQUINE ACTIVITY" MEANS RIDING, TRAINING, ASSISTING IN VETERINARY TREATMENT OF, DRIVING, OR BEING A PASSENGER UPON AN EQUINE, WHETHER MOUNTED OR UNMOUNTED, VISITING OR TOURING OR UTILIZING AN EQUINE FACILITY AS PART OF AN ORGANIZED EVENT OR ACTIVITY, OR ANY PERSON ASSISTING A PARTICIPANT OR SHOW MANAGEMENT. THE TERM "ENGAGES IN AN EQUINE ACTIVITY" DOES NOT INCLUDE BEING A SPECTATOR AT AN EQUINE ACTIVITY, EXCEPT IN CASES WHERE THE SPECTATOR PLACES HIMSELF IN AN UNAU- THORIZED AREA OR IN IMMEDIATE PROXIMITY TO THE EQUINE ACTIVITY. 2. "EQUINE" MEANS A HORSE, PONY, MULE OR DONKEY. 3. "EQUINE ACTIVITY" MEANS: (A) EQUINE SHOWS, FAIRS, COMPETITIONS, PERFORMANCES OR PARADES THAT INVOLVE ANY OR ALL BREEDS OF EQUINES AND ANY OF THE EQUINE DISCIPLINES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO DRESSAGE, HUNTER AND JUMPER HORSE SHOWS, GRAND PRIX JUMPING, THREE-DAY EVENTS, COMBINED TRAINING, RODEOS, RIDING, DRIVING, PULLING, CUTTING, POLO, STEEPLECHASING, ENGLISH AND WESTERN PERFORMANCE RIDING, ENDURANCE TRAIL RIDING, GYMKHANA GAMES, AND HUNTING. (B) EQUINE TRAINING OR TEACHING ACTIVITIES OR BOTH. (C) THE BOARDING OF EQUINES; INCLUDING NORMAL DAILY CARE THEREOF. (D) RIDING, INSPECTING OR EVALUATING BY A PURCHASER OR AN AGENT AN EQUINE BELONGING TO ANOTHER, WHETHER OR NOT THE OWNER HAS RECEIVED SOME MONETARY CONSIDERATION OR OTHER THING OF VALUE FOR THE USE OF THE EQUINE OR IS PERMITTING A PROSPECTIVE PURCHASER OF THE EQUINE TO RIDE, INSPECT OR EVALUATE THE EQUINE. (E) RIDES, TRIPS, HUNTS OR OTHER EQUINE ACTIVITIES OF ANY TYPE HOWEVER INFORMAL OR IMPROMPTU THAT ARE SPONSORED BY AN EQUINE ACTIVITY SPONSOR. (F) PLACING OR REPLACING HORSESHOES OR HOOF TRIMMING ON AN EQUINE. (G) PROVIDING OR ASSISTING IN VETERINARY TREATMENT OF AN EQUINE.S. 2380 4
4. "EQUINE ACTIVITY SPONSOR" MEANS AN INDIVIDUAL, GROUP, CLUB, PART- NERSHIP, LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY OR CORPORATION, WHETHER OR NOT THE SPONSOR IS OPERATING FOR PROFIT OR NONPROFIT, WHICH SPONSORS, ORGAN- IZES OR PROVIDES THE FACILITIES FOR, AN EQUINE ACTIVITY, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: PONY CLUBS, 4-H CLUBS, HUNT CLUBS, RIDING CLUBS, SCHOOL AND COLLEGE-SPONSORED CLASSES, PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES, THERAPEUTIC RIDING PROGRAMS, STABLE AND FARM OWNERS AND OPERATORS, INSTRUCTORS, AND PROMOTERS OF EQUINE FACILITIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO FARMS, STABLES, CLUBHOUSES, PONY RIDE STRINGS, FAIRS, AND ARENAS AT WHICH THE ACTIVITY IS HELD. 5. "EQUINE PROFESSIONAL" MEANS A PERSON ENGAGED FOR COMPENSATION: (A) IN INSTRUCTING A PARTICIPANT OR RENTING TO A PARTICIPANT AN EQUINE FOR THE PURPOSE OF RIDING, DRIVING OR BEING A PASSENGER UPON THE EQUINE; (B) IN RENTING EQUIPMENT OR TACK TO A PARTICIPANT; (C) TO PROVIDE DAILY CARE OF HORSES BOARDED AT AN EQUINE FACILITY; OR (D) TO TRAIN AN EQUINE. 6. "INHERENT RISKS OF EQUINE ACTIVITIES" MEANS THOSE DANGERS OR CONDI- TIONS WHICH ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF EQUINE ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: (A) THE PROPENSITY OF EQUINES TO BEHAVE IN WAYS THAT MAY RESULT IN INJURY, HARM OR DEATH TO PERSONS ON OR AROUND THEM; (B) THE UNPREDICTABILITY OF AN EQUINE'S REACTION TO SUCH THINGS AS SOUNDS, SUDDEN MOVEMENT, AND UNFAMILIAR OBJECTS, PERSONS OR OTHER ANIMALS; (C) CERTAIN HAZARDS SUCH AS SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE CONDITIONS INCLUD- ING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ROCKS, FOREST GROWTH, DEBRIS, BRANCHES, TREES, ROOTS, STUMPS OR OTHER NATURAL OBJECTS; (D) COLLISIONS WITH OTHER EQUINES OR OBJECTS; AND (E) THE POTENTIAL OF A PARTICIPANT TO ACT IN A NEGLIGENT MANNER THAT MAY CONTRIBUTE TO INJURY TO THE PARTICIPANT OR OTHERS, SUCH AS FAILING TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OVER THE ANIMAL OR NOT ACTING WITHIN HIS OR HER ABILITY. 7. "PARTICIPANT" MEANS ANY PERSON, WHETHER AMATEUR OR PROFESSIONAL, WHO ENGAGES IN AN EQUINE ACTIVITY, WHETHER OR NOT A FEE IS PAID TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EQUINE ACTIVITY. S 18-303. LIABILITY OF PERSONS INVOLVED IN EQUINE ACTIVITIES. 1. NOTHING IN SECTION 18-304 OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL PREVENT OR LIMIT THE LIABILITY OF AN EQUINE ACTIVITY SPONSOR OR AN EQUINE PROFESSIONAL, IF THE EQUINE ACTIVITY SPONSOR OR EQUINE PROFESSIONAL: (A) (1) PROVIDED THE EQUIPMENT OR TACK, AND KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT THE EQUIPMENT OR TACK WAS FAULTY, AND SUCH EQUIPMENT OR TACK WAS FAULTY TO THE EXTENT THAT IT DID CAUSE THE INJURY; OR (2) PROVIDED THE EQUINE AND FAILED TO MAKE REASONABLE AND PRUDENT EFFORTS TO DETERMINE THE ABILITY OF THE PARTICIPANT TO ENGAGE SAFELY IN THE EQUINE ACTIVITY, AND DETERMINE THE ABILITY OF THE PARTICIPANT TO SAFELY MANAGE THE PARTICULAR EQUINE BASED ON THE PARTICIPANT'S REPRESEN- TATIONS OF HIS ABILITY; (B) OWNS, LEASES, RENTS, HAS AUTHORIZED USE OF OR IS OTHERWISE IN LAWFUL POSSESSION AND CONTROL OF THE LAND, OR FACILITIES UPON WHICH THE PARTICIPANT SUSTAINED INJURIES BECAUSE OF A DANGEROUS LATENT CONDITION WHICH WAS KNOWN OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO THE EQUINE ACTIVITY SPONSOR OR EQUINE PROFESSIONAL AND FOR WHICH WARNING SIGNS, PURSUANT TO SECTION 18-305 OF THIS ARTICLE HAVE NOT BEEN CONSPICUOUSLY POSTED; (C) COMMITS AN ACT OR OMISSION THAT CONSTITUTES WILLFUL OR WANTON DISREGARD FOR THE SAFETY OF THE PARTICIPANT, AND THAT ACT OR OMISSION CAUSED THE INJURY;S. 2380 5
(D) INTENTIONALLY INJURES THE PARTICIPANT. 2. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE HORSE RACING ACTIVITY AUTHOR- IZED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE TWO, THREE OR FOUR OF THE RACING, PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING AND BREEDING LAW. S 18-304. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. 1. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBDI- VISION TWO OF SECTION 18-303 OF THIS ARTICLE, AN EQUINE ACTIVITY SPON- SOR, AN EQUINE PROFESSIONAL OR ANY OTHER PERSON, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, CORPORATION OR PARTNERSHIP, SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR AN INJURY TO OR THE DEATH OF A PARTICIPANT RESULTING FROM THE INHERENT RISKS OF EQUINE ACTIVITIES AND, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION 18-303 OF THIS ARTICLE, NO PARTICIPANT NOR PARTICIPANT'S REPRESENTATIVE SHALL MAKE ANY CLAIM AGAINST, MAINTAIN AN ACTION AGAINST OR RECOVER FROM AN EQUINE ACTIVITY SPONSOR, AN EQUINE PROFESSIONAL OR ANY OTHER PERSON FOR INJURY, LOSS, DAMAGE OR DEATH OF THE PARTICIPANT RESULTING FROM ANY OF THE INHERENT RISKS OF EQUINE ACTIVITIES. 2. NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL LIMIT THE APPLICATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9-103 OF THIS CHAPTER. S 18-305. POSTING AND NOTIFICATION. 1. EVERY EQUINE PROFESSIONAL SHALL POST AND MAINTAIN SIGNS WHICH CONTAIN THE WARNING NOTICE SPECIFIED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION. SUCH SIGNS SHALL BE PLACED IN A CLEARLY VISIBLE LOCATION IN THE PROXIMITY OF THE EQUINE ACTIVITY. THE WARNING NOTICE SPECIFIED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION SHALL APPEAR ON THE SIGN IN BLACK LETTERS, WITH EACH LETTER TO BE A MINIMUM OF ONE INCH IN HEIGHT. EVERY WRITTEN CONTRACT ENTERED INTO BY AN EQUINE PROFES- SIONAL FOR THE PROVIDING OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, INSTRUCTION, OR THE RENTAL OF EQUIPMENT OR TACK OR AN EQUINE TO A PARTICIPANT, WHETHER OR NOT THE CONTRACT INVOLVES EQUINE ACTIVITIES ON OR OFF THE LOCATION OR SITE OF THE EQUINE PROFESSIONAL'S BUSINESS, SHALL CONTAIN IN CLEARLY READABLE PRINT THE WARNING NOTICE SPECIFIED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION. 2. THE SIGNS AND CONTRACTS DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING WARNING NOTICE: WARNING UNDER NEW YORK LAW, AN EQUINE PROFESSIONAL OR EQUINE ACTIVITY SPONSOR IS NOT LIABLE FOR AN INJURY TO, OR THE DEATH OF, A PARTICIPANT IN EQUINE ACTIVITIES RESULTING FROM THE INHERENT RISKS OF EQUINE ACTIVITIES, PURSUANT TO SECTION 18-304 OF THE GENERAL OBLIGATIONS LAW. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that the provisions of section two of this act shall take effect on the nine- tieth day after it shall have become a law; and provided further, that the provisions of this act shall apply only to causes of action commenced on or after the effective date of each applicable section.