Ohio Chamber Supports Common-Sense Approach to Campground Liability

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce submitted a letter in support of House Bill 355 (HB 355) today. The joint letter, also signed by NFIB-Ohio, recommends the favorable passage of the legislation which would provide campground owners with civil immunity for certain risks inherent with camping.

The legislation promotes a common-sense civil justice system by recognizing there are inherent risks that campground owners are not in a position to eliminate or mitigate. The legislation properly places the risks for dangers inherent to camping with the individuals who choose to engage in camping activities since they are in the best position to safeguard themselves from harms directly related to camping.

The Ohio Chamber supports HB 355 because it protects our members from frivolous lawsuits arising from risks associated with camping that are known by potential plaintiffs and that campground operators are unable to take steps to reduce. The legislation also codifies the basic legal principal that individuals assume the risk of harm when they engage in inherently dangerous activities, which provides another added layer of protection for our campground members.

Importantly, HB 355 strikes an appropriate balance by not removing campground operator liability when the harm is caused by a purposeful act of the operator, the willful disregard for the safety of the camper or when the operator’s actions constitute criminal conduct. The legislation also requires the posting of signage, putting patrons on notice of the inherent risks of camping.

The Ohio Chamber will continue to advocate for its passage as HB 355 makes its way through the committee and legislative process.