Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/05/2003 01:07 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
          SB 175-LIABILITY:RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY/BOATS                                                                      
CHAIR SEEKINS announced SB 175 to be up for consideration.                                                                      
MR.  BRIAN HOVE,  staff to  Senator Seekins,  sponsor, said  that                                                               
liability  insurance is  a significant  cost to  existing outdoor                                                               
activity enterprises  and presents a significant  barrier for new                                                               
businesses entering  this industry. SB 175  delineates the burden                                                               
of responsibility for the commercial  recreation business as well                                                               
as  the person  who elects  to participate  in that  recreational                                                               
activity.  Commercial  businesses  are  responsible  for  meeting                                                               
safety standards  and providing trained and  competent personnel.                                                               
Without exception, participation in  outdoor activities carries a                                                               
degree  of   inherent  risk.  This  legislation   would  decrease                                                               
uncertainties regarding  the legal responsibilities  for injuries                                                               
and  encourage  the  responsible   businesses  that  offer  these                                                               
activities to the  public. This bill would help  avoid unfair and                                                               
unreasonable claims that are closely  identified with the Alaskan                                                               
lifestyle and  have come to  be expected by visitors  looking for                                                               
exceptional experiences.                                                                                                        
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  moved to  adopt  CSSB  175(JUD), version  Q,                                                               
which  adds  "skateboarding" to  a  lengthy  list of  activities.                                                               
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
SENATOR OGAN asked  if this was a replication  of Senator Bunde's                                                               
bill they already passed.                                                                                                       
MR.  HOVE asked  the  drafter how  this  interfaces with  Senator                                                               
Bunde's bill. He assured Mr. Hove that there was no overlap.                                                                    
SENATOR ELLIS  still wanted to  know what the interplay  was with                                                               
the Bunde language.                                                                                                             
MR.  HOVE   replied  that  Senator  Bunde's   bill  covered  non-                                                               
commercial activities;  this one  covers commercial. He  said the                                                               
sponsor statement was incorrect.                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH asked what the effective date was.                                                                               
SENATOR OGAN  said he was  concerned that good people  were hired                                                               
to be guides for things like white water rafting.                                                                               
CHAIR SEEKINS  noted that language on  page 3, lines 4  - 5, says                                                               
this does  not apply to a  civil action based on  negligence of a                                                               
SENATOR OGAN  asked if  negligence isn't  what people  always sue                                                               
for and what are they accomplishing by passing this bill.                                                                       
CHAIR  SEEKINS replied  that it  limits liability  to the  extent                                                               
that someone  can show that there  is no negligence and  that the                                                               
person accepts the inherent risk of the activity.                                                                               
TAPE 03-37, SIDE B                                                                                                            
SENATOR THERRIAULT noted that the  list of sports or recreational                                                               
activities on  page 3, line  28, doesn't include  boxing contests                                                               
and wanted to know why.                                                                                                         
SENATOR FRENCH  said that bungee jumping  and paragliding crossed                                                               
his mind as other activities.                                                                                                   
SENATOR OGAN  suggested using the  catchall phrase,  "limited to,                                                               
but not including..."                                                                                                           
SENATOR FRENCH  said in  this case  it is  better to  use general                                                               
terminology rather than specific.                                                                                               
CHAIR  SEEKINS said  they would  set the  bill aside  for further                                                               

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