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HCS CSSB 175(JUD): "An Act relating to civil liability for inherent risks in sports or recreational activities."

00                HOUSE CS FOR CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 175(JUD)                                                             
01 "An Act relating to civil liability for inherent risks in sports or recreational activities."                           
02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
03    * Section 1.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section                         
04 to read:                                                                                                                
05       FINDINGS AND INTENT.  (a)  The legislature finds that                                                             
06            (1)  all sports or recreational activities involve inherent risks that provide the                           
07 challenge and excitement that entice people to participate in those activities;                                         
08            (2)  people should accept the risks inherent in sports or recreational activities                            
09 and be responsible for injuries and damages resulting from those inherent risks;                                        
10            (3)  the state has a legitimate interest in maintaining the economic viability of                            
11 the sports or recreational activities industry by discouraging claims based on injuries and                             
12 damages resulting from risks inherent in sports or recreational activities;                                             
13            (4)  providers of sports or recreational activities should not be required to alter                          
14 the challenge and excitement of the activities by controlling risks inherent in the activities;                         
15 and                                                                                                                     
01            (5)  the liability of providers of sports or recreational activities should be                               
02 limited to negligence that is not associated with the inherent risks of sports or recreational                          
03 activities.                                                                                                             
04       (b)  It is the intent of this Act to                                                                              
05            (1)  limit or eliminate the liability of a provider of a sports or recreational                              
06 activity to a participant in the activity when an injury or damage caused by or to the                                  
07 participant is the result of risks inherent in the activity; and                                                        
08            (2)  encourage the broad construction of the Act to shield providers of sports or                            
09 recreational activities from liability for injuries and damages caused by the inherent risks of                         
10 sports or recreational activities.                                                                                      
11    * Sec. 2.  AS 05.25.040 is amended to read:                                                                        
12            Sec. 05.25.040.  Owner's civil liability.  Except as provided under                                    
13       AS 09.65.290, the [THE] owner of a boat is liable for injury or damage caused by the                          
14       negligent operation of the owner's boat whether the negligence consists of a violation                            
15       of a state statute or the failure to exercise ordinary care in the operation of the boat as                       
16       the rules of the common law require.  The owner is not liable, however, unless the                                
17       boat is used with the owner's express or implied consent.  It is presumed that the boat                           
18       is being operated with the knowledge and consent of the owner if, at the time of the                              
19       injury or damage, it is under the control of the owner's spouse, father, mother, brother,                         
20       sister, son, daughter, or other member of the owner's immediate family.  This chapter                             
21       does not relieve any other person from a liability that the person would otherwise                                
22       incur and does not authorize or permit recovery in excess of injury or damage actually                            
23       incurred.                                                                                                         
24    * Sec. 3.  AS 09.65 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
25            Sec. 09.65.290.  Civil liability for sports or recreational activities.  (a)  A                            
26       person who participates in a sports or recreational activity assumes the inherent risks                           
27       in that sports or recreational activity and is legally responsible for all injuries or death                      
28       to the person or other persons and for all damage to property that results from the                               
29       inherent risks in that sports or recreational activity.                                                           
30            (b)  This section does not require a provider to eliminate, alter, or control the                            
31       inherent risks within the particular sports or recreational activity that is provided.                            
01            (c)  This section does not apply to a civil action based on the                                              
02                 (1)  negligence of a provider if the negligence was the proximate cause                                 
03       of the injury, death, or damage; or                                                                               
04                 (2)  design or manufacture of sports or recreational equipment or                                       
05       products or safety equipment used incidental to or required by a sports or recreational                           
06       activity.                                                                                                         
07            (d)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to conflict with or render as                                
08       ineffectual a liability release agreement between a person who participates in a sports                           
09       or recreational activity and a provider.                                                                          
10            (e)  In this section,                                                                                        
11                 (1)  "inherent risks" means those dangers or conditions that are                                        
12       characteristic of, intrinsic to, or an integral part of a sport or recreational activity;                         
13                 (2)  "provider" means a person or a federal, state, or municipal agency                                 
14       that promotes, offers, or conducts a sports or recreational activity, whether for pay or                          
15       otherwise;                                                                                                        
16                 (3)  "sports or recreational activity"                                                                  
17                      (A)  means a commonly understood sporting activity, whether                                        
18            undertaken with or without permission, including baseball, softball, football,                               
19            soccer, basketball, hockey, bungee jumping, parasailing, bicycling, hiking,                                  
20            swimming, skateboarding, horseback riding and other equine activity, dude                                    
21            ranching, mountain climbing, river floating, whitewater rafting, canoeing,                                   
22            kayaking, hunting, fishing, backcountry trips, mushing, backcountry or                                       
23            helicopter-assisted skiing, alpine skiing, nordic skiing, snowboarding,                                      
24            telemarking, snow sliding, snowmobiling, off-road and all-terrain vehicle use;                               
25                      (B)  does not include                                                                              
26                           (i)  boxing contests, sparring or wrestling matches or                                        
27                 exhibitions that are subject to the requirements of AS 05.10;                                           
28                           (ii)  activities involving the use of devices that are                                        
29                 subject to the requirements of AS 05.20; or                                                             
30                           (iii)  skiing or sliding activities at a ski area that are                                    
31                 subject to the requirements of AS 05.45.                                                                
01    * Sec. 4.  Section 9, ch. 28, SLA 2000 is amended to read:                                                         
02            Sec. 9.  AS 05.25.040 is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                     
03            Sec. 05.25.040.  Owner's civil liability.  Except as provided under                                    
04       AS 09.65.290, the [THE] owner of a watercraft is liable for injury or damage caused                           
05       by the negligent operation of the owner's watercraft whether the negligence consists of                           
06       a violation of a state statute or neglecting to observe ordinary care in the operation of                         
07       the watercraft as the rules of the common law require.  The owner is not liable,                                  
08       however, unless the watercraft is used with the owner's express or implied consent.  It                           
09       is presumed that the watercraft is being operated with the knowledge and consent of                               
10       the owner if, at the time of the injury or damage, it is under the control of the owner's                         
11       spouse, father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, or other member of the owner's                            
12       immediate family.  This chapter does not relieve any other person from a liability that                           
13       the person would otherwise incur and does not authorize or permit recovery in excess                              
14       of injury or damage actually incurred.                                                                            
15    * Sec. 5.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
16 read:                                                                                                                   
17       APPLICABILITY.  This Act applies to acts or omissions that occur on or after the                                  
18 effective date of sec. 3 of this Act.