Maine Revised Statutes

§4103-A. Liability for equine activities

1. Liability.  Except as provided in subsection 2, an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional or any other person engaged in an equine activity is not liable for any property damage or damages arising from the personal injury or death of a participant or spectator resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities. Except as provided in subsection 2, a person may not make any claim or recover from any person for any property damage or damages for personal injury or death resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities. Each participant and spectator in an equine activity expressly assumes the risk and legal responsibility for any property damage or damages arising from personal injury or death that results from the inherent risk of equine activities. Each participant has the sole responsibility for knowing the range of that person's ability to manage, care for and control a particular equine or perform a particular equine activity. It is the duty of each participant to act within the limits of the participant's own ability, to maintain reasonable control of the particular equine at all times while participating in an equine activity, to heed all warnings and to refrain from acting in a manner that may cause or contribute to the injury of any person or damage to property.
[ 1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW) .]
2. Exceptions; participants.  Nothing in subsection 1 prevents or limits the liability of an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional or any other person engaged in an equine activity, if the equine activity sponsor, equine professional or person:
A. Provided the equipment or tack, and knew or should have known that the equipment or tack was faulty, and the equipment or tack was faulty to the extent that it did cause the injury; [1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW).]
B. Owns, leases, rents or otherwise is in lawful possession and control of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a dangerous latent condition that was known or should have been known to the equine activity sponsor, equine professional or person; [1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW).]
C. Commits an act or omission that constitutes reckless disregard for the safety of others and that act or omission caused the injury. For the purposes of this section, "reckless" has the same meaning as "recklessly," defined in Title 17-A, section 35, subsection 3, paragraph A; or [1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW).]
D. Intentionally injures the participant. [1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW).]
[ 1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW) .]
3. Assumption of risk.  In a personal injury action against an equine professional, a defense or immunity described in subsection 1 may be asserted only if the person injured in the course of an equine activity:
A. Had actual knowledge of the inherent risks of equine activities; [1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW).]
B. Had professed to have sufficient knowledge or experience to be on notice of the inherent risks; or [1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW).]
C. Had been notified of the inherent risks and the limitations of liability. [1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW).]
For the purposes of this subsection, notice of the inherent risks of equine activity may be satisfied either by a statement signed by the person injured or by a sign or signs prominently displayed at the place where the equine activity was initiated. The statement or sign must contain at least the following information.
"WARNING
Under Maine law, an equine professional has limited liability for an injury or death resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities."
The message on a sign must be in black letters at least one inch in height and the sign or signs must be placed in a clearly visible location on or near stables, corrals or arenas where the equine professional conducts equine activities.
[ 1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW) .]
4. Exceptions; persons who are not participants.  Nothing in subsection 1 prevents or limits the liability of an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional or any other person engaged in an equine activity, if that equine activity:
A. Causes injury or death to a person who is not a participant and who is in a place where a reasonable person would not expect an equine activity to occur; or [1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW).]
B. Causes injury or death to a spectator and that spectator was in a place designated or intended by an activity sponsor as a place for spectators. [1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW).]
[ 1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1999, c. 498, §5 (NEW).

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