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Landowner Liability

2006/9/14 20:03
Posts: 25
The case in Lehigh county was a hot topic at camp this past week. A jury found the landowner partially liable for a hunting accident:
It will be interesting to see how this very unusual case plays out, but the knee-jerk reaction among landowners is to post the property.

Posted on: 2006/12/3 20:27

Re: Landowner Liability

2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 54
Dear Gone4Day,

Why wasn't Ford or Chevy or Toyota sued as well? Unless the hunter walked to the farm he had to use a vehicle didn't he? If the vehicle would have failed the shooting would never have occured, so the vehicle manufacturer is obviously at fault too.

I don't mean to make light of an unfortunate situation but to put any of the blame on the landowner is totally ridiculous. A lawsuit like this is bound to impact the fishing community. If this concept holds up I think you can kiss fishing on private property goodbye forever unless you carry a notarized note from an attorney excusing the landowner of all harm.

Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2006/12/3 20:53

Re: Landowner Liability
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 2835
I didn't read the decision, but as I understand it, the recreational use of land act immunizes a landowner for injury to persons on the land, not injuries to persons off the land. In the reported case, the injured person was struck by a stray bullet while seated in a car OFF the land. The landowner was, apparently, founf 10% liable, presumably because he permitted discharging firearms in a situation where there was a risk of harm to others. That decision was made based upon the facts of the case and may or may not have been reasonable. It is expected that there will be a push to expand the immunity by amending the act. In the meantime, landowners may post to be cautious. Insurance companies may exclude liability coverage unless posting occurs. All in all, it won't be a good development for hunters and will only effect fishing if the posting landowners post against all trespass. It is unlikely that an angler will cause harm to someone off the land, so this decision should really not cause landowners to object to use of their land for fishing.

Posted on: 2006/12/3 21:48
"If you see the Buddha in the road, please slow down and see if she is OK." OK?

-- Me

Re: Landowner Liability
2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
Posts: 16
It is unlikely that an angler will cause harm to someone off the land, so this decision should really not cause landowners to object to use of their land for fishing.

That assumes the landowners have read and understood the decision, and are committed to keeping the property open. (And why should they be, really?) Likewise for the insurance companies.

I think what's more likely is that they will react conservatively.

The best we can hope for is that the incident doesn't cause a big stir.

Posted on: 2006/12/4 7:25
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest

Re: Landowner Liability

2006/9/14 10:34
From Southeast PA
Posts: 3
I think it's possible that many landowners who hear about this will post their land. How can you blame them? And they might go out and buy the standard signs, the ones that include fishing along with hunting, just because they are the standard signs, and why take any chances. Maybe they would let you fish if you ask, maybe not. But most people who see no trespassing signs just don't fish there because they don't want to bother the owner or they don't want to bother asking. So in the end it will mean more fishing waters are lost.

Posted on: 2006/12/4 10:22

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