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Court: Farmers could be liable for accidents

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On February 15 the Iowa Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling by the Iowa Court of Appeals that essentially reversed the long-standing recreational use statute. Under the statute, owners of agricultural land were not liable for injuries suffered by the public on their land, provided they’d made it available to the general public without charge.

Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation Director Roger McEowen, above, explains.

In another Iowa Supreme Court Case, Galloway v. State, the court found that waivers signed by parents on behalf of their children are unenforceable. That case, coupled with the February 15 decision, effectively undoes any legal incentive for landowners to open their lands to the public, which was originally present when the statue came into effect in the 1960s.

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