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A00559 Summary:

BILL NOA00559A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01152-A
 
SPONSORWoerner (MS)
 
COSPNSRStirpe, Magee, Hunter, Titone, Simon, Skartados, Rivera, Skoufis, Gunther, Benedetto, Lifton, Barrett, DiPietro, Blankenbush, Lupardo, Brabenec, Stec, Miller B, Norris, Friend
 
MLTSPNSRBarclay, Buchwald, Galef, Thiele
 
Add Art 18-B 18-301 - 18-303, Gen Ob L
 
Relates to the inherent risks of operating agricultural tourism areas and participating in activities in agricultural tourism areas.
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A00559 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A559A               Revised 6/15/2017
 
SPONSOR: Woerner (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the inherent risks of operating agricultural tourism areas and participating in activities in agricultural tourism areas   PURPOSE: This bill provides predictability to agritourism proprietors and profes- sionals by establishing processes for recognition and dissemination of the inherent risks involved with participating in agritourism activ- ities.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the general obligations law by adding a new article 18-B which establishes the short title, definitions, and duties of oper- ators and visitors of agricultural tourism areas. Section 2 establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Agritourism is an important and growing sector of the rural economies in New York State. Activities such as maple production, farm and winery tours, equine activities, "u-pick" Christmas trees, hiking, hunting, and other forms of recreation offer farm visitors the chance to enjoy the bucolic environs of the State of New York. Furthermore, these activities add to our rural economies and provide farmers a greater diversity of income. The farm owners and ranchers who provide and sponsor agritourism often face uncertainty when determining their potential liability for activity that take place on their property. The cost of liability insurance for farms with agritourism activities is becoming prohibitive, particularly for small farms. Actuaries look to what is in statute to determine the extent of liability the farmer has. Even though NY case law would suggest that a court would take inherent risk into account in evaluating liability, the actuaries do not appear to base their ratings on case law. Rather, they are looking to what is predictable in statute. Pres- ently, New York State has no uniform law addressing the standards of care owed by agritourism proprietors and farm animal professionals, which makes planning legal and insurance costs difficult. By passing legislation creating explicit and uniform standards, this legislation will create a better legislative environment for agritourism and farm professionals.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2015-2016: A.10070A - Passed Assembly, referred to Senate Committee on Rules   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A00559 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         559--A
                                                                Cal. No. 115
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     January 9, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. WOERNER, STIRPE, MAGEE, HUNTER, TITONE, SIMON,
          SKARTADOS,  RIVERA,  SKOUFIS,  GUNTHER,  BENEDETTO,  LIFTON,  BARRETT,
          DiPIETRO,  BLANKENBUSH,  LUPARDO, BRABENEC, STEC, B. MILLER, NORRIS --
          Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BARCLAY, BUCHWALD, GALEF, LOPEZ, THIELE
          -- read once and referred to the Committee on  Judiciary  --  reported
          and  referred  to  the  Committee on Codes -- reported from committee,
          advanced to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted,  retaining
          its place on the order of third reading
 
        AN ACT to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the inherent
          risks  of  operating  agricultural  tourism areas and participating in
          activities in agricultural tourism areas
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The  general  obligations  law is amended by adding a new
     2  article 18-B to read as follows:
     3                                ARTICLE 18-B
     4                       SAFETY IN AGRICULTURAL TOURISM
     5  Section 18-301. Short title.
     6          18-302. Definitions.
     7          18-303. Responsibilities of operators and visitors  of  agricul-
     8                    tural tourism areas.
     9    § 18-301. Short title. This article shall be known and may be cited as
    10  the "safety in agricultural tourism act".
    11    § 18-302. Definitions. For purposes of this article:
    12    1.  "Agricultural  tourism" means activities, including the production
    13  of maple sap and pure maple products made  therefrom,  farm  and  winery
    14  tours,  equine activities both outdoors and indoors but excluding equine
    15  therapy, u-pick Christmas trees, hiking,  hunting  and  other  forms  of
    16  outdoor  recreation  offered  to  farm  visitors,  conducted by a farmer
    17  on-farm for the enjoyment and/or education of the public, which primari-
    18  ly promote the sale, marketing, production, harvesting  or  use  of  the
    19  products  of  the farm and enhance the public's understanding and aware-
    20  ness of farming and farm life.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03372-04-7

        A. 559--A                           2
 
     1    2. "Equine therapy" shall include equine activities  for  children  or
     2  adults  with  physical  or  mental  disabilities,  post-traumatic stress
     3  disorder or other condition for which equine therapy is sought for ther-
     4  apeutic purposes or treatment.
     5    §  18-303.  Responsibilities of operators and visitors of agricultural
     6  tourism areas. 1. Operators of agricultural tourism areas shall have the
     7  following additional responsibilities:
     8    a. To post and maintain way finding signage to  delineate  the  paths,
     9  areas and buildings that are open to the public;
    10    b. To adequately train employees who are actively involved in agricul-
    11  tural tourism activities;
    12    c.  To post at every point of sale or distribution of tickets, whether
    13  on or off the premises of the agricultural tourism area,  a  conspicuous
    14  "Warning to Visitors" relative to the inherent risks of participating in
    15  activities  on  working  farms and to provide written information having
    16  such text and graphics as the commissioner of  agriculture  and  markets
    17  shall  specify,  which  shall  conspicuously direct the attention of all
    18  visitors to the required "Warning to Visitors";
    19    d. To post at every point of sale or distribution  of  tickets  at  an
    20  agricultural tourism area a conspicuous notice to visitors that pursuant
    21  to  this article such visitors have a responsibility to exercise reason-
    22  able care regarding the disclosed risks of  the  agricultural  activity,
    23  and  reasonably  comply with posted way finding signs, reasonably remain
    24  in areas designated for the agricultural  tourism  activity,  reasonably
    25  follow  any  and  all  written and conspicuously posted rules of conduct
    26  provided by such operator to visitors or verbal or  other  communication
    27  for  persons  with  disabilities,  and  not to willfully remove, deface,
    28  alter or otherwise damage signage, warning  devices  or  implements,  or
    29  other safety devices;
    30    e.  To take reasonable care to prevent reasonably foreseeable risks to
    31  visitors, consistent with the responsibility of a landowner to keep  his
    32  or  her premises reasonably safe for intended and reasonably foreseeable
    33  uses and users, and to post conspicuous notice to visitors of the  right
    34  to  a  refund to the purchaser in the amount paid in the initial sale of
    35  any tickets returned to the operator of the agricultural  tourism  area,
    36  intact  and  unused,  upon  declaration by such purchaser that he or she
    37  believes that he or she is unprepared or that he or she is unwilling  to
    38  participate in the agricultural tourism activity due to the risks inher-
    39  ent  in  the  activities  or  the duties imposed upon him or her by this
    40  section; and
    41    f. Owners and operators of agricultural tourism  areas  shall  not  be
    42  liable  for an injury to or death of a visitor if the provisions of this
    43  subdivision are complied with.
    44    2. Visitors to agricultural tourism areas have the  responsibility  to
    45  exercise  reasonable  care regarding the disclosed risks of the agricul-
    46  tural activity and:
    47    a. to reasonably comply with posted way finding signs  and  reasonably
    48  remain in areas designated for the agricultural tourism activity;
    49    b.  to  reasonably follow any and all written information or conspicu-
    50  ously posted rules of conduct provided by such operator to visitors,  or
    51  verbal  or  other form of communication of rules of conduct where needed
    52  for effective communication for people with disabilities; and
    53    c. not to willfully remove, deface, alter or otherwise damage signage,
    54  warning devices or implements or other safety devices.
    55    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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