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Running the rapids of tort reform in Montana

From The Hungry Horse News, "Recreation bill clears House":

The Montana Recreation Responsibility Act, or House Bill 150, is sponsored by House District 3 legislator Dee Brown and requires that people who engage in potentially dangerous activities "assume the inherent risks in that sport or recreational opportunity and (are) responsible for injuries and damages."

The bill runs the gamut of sports, from rodeos to rafting, baseball to skiing. Brown introduced a similar bill in 2005 that had plenty of local support -- particularly from the rafting industry -- but it was never passed.

The bill and its legislative history are available here.

The Montana Trial Lawyers Association is opposed, claiming it's unconstitutional. Not sure why -- federal authority over navigable waterways?

Governor Brian Schweitzer is quite the friend of the plaintiff's bar -- recall his chortling at the AAJ convention last summer? -- so we'll be interested to see whether the bill makes it to his desk.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.