The ALEI legal specialists often educate Maryland farmers about liability risks and how the use of liability waivers is one way farmers can reduce their liability exposure. In response to the presentations, we often get the following question from a farmer in one form or another, “Are waivers actually enforceable?” In other words, “If someone gets hurt at my farm will the fact that he or she signed a waiver really protect me?” In September 2016, a U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania in Melendez v. Happy Trails and Riding Center, Inc. (2016 WL 5402745) examined a liability waiver, giving us some insight into the answer to that question.Read More
If you have been reading the blog for a while now, you know we frequently discuss landowner liability issues. A few months ago, I discussed issues to consider when forming a liability waiver. Today, I will be discussing the enforceability of that waiver. In other words, does you liability waiver ACTUALLY protect your operation from claims against a visitor who was unfortunately injured?Read More
You may have noticed here lately we have announced a few new publications have been released. You maybe asking yourselves, “Paul, how do you write blog posts, present at meetings, and still have time to author publications?” The answer is simple; these have been working their way through the UME peer review process and were done months ago. We will not always be turning out publications at this level, so enjoy them while they are being released.Read More
Do you give tours of your farm operation? Do people knock on your door and ask to see your cow, poultry, vegetable operation, or the like? If your answer to either of these questions is YES, you may have legal questions regarding these interested people.Read More
This column should not be construed as legal advice
This column originally appeared in the Lancaster Farming, Vol. 59 No. 52 Oct. 4th Edition.
I realize this column is a couple of months overdue but we are in the middle of agritourism season for many farms across the state and country. Many of you have the opportunity to walk through corn mazes, pick pumpkins, or go on a hayride. But many agritourism operators have concerns about how to limit liability for customers who get hurt running through the maze, falling while picking pumpkins, being hurt on the hayride, and so on. These accidents could happen through your fault or the customers’ fault.Read More