Today, State Representative Tony Burkley (R-Payne) applauded the Ohio House’s passage of legislation that grants agritourism operators civil liability protection for injuries that occur during agritourism activities.
“The goal of this legislation is to help protect Ohio’s farmers who seek to educate the public about our number one industry without fear of unjustified litigation,” said Burkley, who sponsored the bill. “This pro-business legislation addresses agritourism operators in regards to civil liability, property taxation, and zoning regulation.”
The bill protects agritourism providers from frivolous lawsuits resulting from accidents that occur during an activity with inherent risk, including surface and subsurface land conditions, the actions of animals, and ordinary dangers associated with equipment and structures used in farming operations.
Conversely, the legislation holds all operators accountable by withholding immunity in the case of willful or wanton disregard for participants’ safety, criminal behavior that causes harm to visitors, or failure to post and maintain required warning signs on the property.
In addition, by ensuring that agritourism operations cannot be prohibited by zoning authorities, House Bill 80 enables local farm markets and agriculture property owners to offer the “farm experience” to everyday Ohioans.
The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.