Bill S3283-2013

Provides for certain uses of premises for which no duty is owed to keep premises safe

Provides that the owner, lessee or occupant of premises owes no duty to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others engaged generally in recreational activities.






TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the duty to keep premises safe for certain uses

PURPOSE: To ensure that the law applies in the case of newly developed uses and uses not listed in the original act.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill adds to the list of specific activities enumerated in GOL section 9-103 1.a, a generic description of these activities to encompass similar activities which have been developed, and new activities of a similar nature which continue to be developed periodically.

In subdivision 2, paragraphs band c contain references to the above list of activities. This bill makes technical changes in these references to conform with the changes in subsection 1, noted above, by changing the term "activities enumerated" to "activities described."

JUSTIFICATION: The list of activities which appear in this recreational use statute is incomplete. Because of this, the law has failed to exempt landowners from liability for the actions of those engaged in activities similar to those listed, but not included in the activities enumerated. Further, since new activities periodically are developed, the law would continually be inadequate if specific activities are periodically added to the list. Some examples of activities which the law fails to address are ice boating, snow boarding, sail boarding}ballooning, training birds for falconry, rock climbing, running, rock collecting, bottle collecting, nature study, bird watching, photography, and drawing or painting, as well as a host of aquatic activities.

The present law has been judged not to encompass ice sailboat racing while it does cover liability for sledding and boating. Similarly, a landowner would presumably be protected against liability for use by hunters but not birdwatchers; subterranean rock climbers ("speleological activities") but not above-ground rock climbers; hang gliders but not balloonists; dirt bikers but not runners; etc. The addition of the generic description of "recreational" activities will provide more equitable protection to landowners.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2049: S.1030, A.2958

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: The courts have indicated that this law does apply to relatively undeveloped publicly-owned property. Thus, the protection afforded landowners, both public and private, should be enhanced by this amendment, possibly resulting in reduced legal and insurance costs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3283 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 31, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. O'MARA -- 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 THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph a of subdivision 1 of section 9-103 of the gener- al obligations law, as separately amended by chapters 141 and 286 of the laws of 1984, is amended to read as follows: a. an owner, lessee or occupant of premises, whether or not posted as provided in section 11-2111 of the environmental conservation law, owes no duty to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for hunt- ing, 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, horseback riding, bicycle riding, hang gliding, motorized vehicle opera- tion for recreational purposes, snowmobile operation, cutting or gather- ing of wood for non-commercial purposes [or], training of dogs OR OTHER RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES, or to give warning of any hazardous condition or use of or structure or activity on such premises to persons entering for such purposes; S 2. Paragraphs b and c of subdivision 2 of section 9-103 of the general obligations law, as amended by chapter 408 of the laws of 1979, are amended to read as follows: b. for injury suffered in any case where permission to pursue any of the activities [enumerated] DESCRIBED in this section was granted for a consideration other than the consideration, if any, paid to said land- owner 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] DESCRIBED in this section was grant- ed, to other persons as to whom the person granting permission, or the owner, lessee or occupant of the premises, owed a duty to keep the prem- ises safe or to warn of danger. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.


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