A new law that’s going into effect next week will be giving Campground owners more protection.
The law slated to start August 28th says that “If an injury or death occurs from an inherent risk of camping, campground owners and employees will be protected from lawsuits.”
The law however would not protect a campground, or its employees, if there is a lack of warning signs.
The Missouri Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (MOARC) and the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) announced the signing of Missouri House Bill 369, which both groups supported, into law by Mo. Gov. Mike Parson.
The “inherent risk” bill specifically offers owners, operators and employees of campgrounds and RV parks protection from frivolous lawsuits when an injury or death occurs as a result of an inherent risk of camping. The bill does not shield a campground or its employees when injuries result from willful or wanton disregard for safety, and clearly outlines the types of warning signs that operators are required to post.
ARVC supplied MOARC with the model language for the bill that was amended as it went through the process. ARVC and MOARC leaders also testified before the Senate Committee and negotiated with trial attorneys and insurance associations, reaching a compromise on wording that alleviated possible opposition, adding an exception if a park “fails to use that degree of care that an ordinarily careful and prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances.”
“This is industry unity at its best! It is a big win for our industry and shows the strength of state organizations and National ARVC working together,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC President and CEO. “This bill is an extremely important piece of legislation for our industry, and it couldn’t have happened without the hard work of everyone involved. I want to especially thank Larry Helms for leading this campaign for the campground owners in Missouri, Kyna Iman for her insightful lobbying efforts and our own Jeff Sims for his tireless effort to bring this legislation to fruition.”
Wisconsin was the first state to pass an inherent risk bill in 2016, and that bill has served as a guide for other states looking to pass similar legislation. Other inherent risk bills introduced in 2021 that ARVC is supporting are in Alaska, Connecticut, Maine, Ohio and Texas.