Horses

Legislation: New York liability law awaits signature, time is running out

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visits the New York State Fair in August. Credits: Governor.ny.gov
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ALBANY, N.Y. — A bill that would limit the liability of equine business operators is still awaiting the governor’s signature, and time is running out.

According to the New York Farm Bureau website: “New York's litigious environment has diminished the number of insurance carriers willing to cover equine establishments and activities, while dramatically increasing the cost for liability coverage. Many riding clubs, riding instruction stables and youth organizations, such as 4-H, can no longer afford the liability insurance necessary to continue their programs in this state.”

New York is one of the few states to not adopt a limited liability law. New Jersey passed its law several years ago and the law has been tested in court and prevailed. Pennsylvania also has an inherent risk law.   

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Earlier this year, both the state Senate and Assembly passed a bill that would provide relief for equine and other agricultural operations that allow the public on their farms. The bill was sent to the governor on Oct. 11. He has until Oct. 20 to sign the bill into law.

According to the New York State Horse Council: This legislation amends general obligations law relative to the inherent risks of operating agricultural tourism activities. This bill does not remove the responsibility of the farm owner from making every effort possible to keep clients and visitors safe. It simply adds a degree of responsibility upon that client or visitor to understand there is potential danger when anyone steps on a farm or visits a stable and pets an animal or is simply near one.

To encourage the governor to sign the legislation visit the New York Farm Bureau website.

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