**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2017**
Contact: Adam Morey
Civil Justice Advocate Urges Governor Cuomo to Sign Legislation That Will Limit Liability for Agricultural Tourism
“New York’s farmers should not forego the economic benefits of agricultural tourism and education for our children due to fear of being sued”
(Albany, NY) –Tom Stebbins, Executive Director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York sent a letter today urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign legislation that will protect the state’s agricultural tourism industry from certain types of liability.
“Agricultural tourism represents an important revenue opportunity for entrepreneurial farmers—especially in struggling Upstate economies—but many have had to give up these opportunities due to the prohibitive cost of insurance,” wrote Stebbins.
“Many farms offer educational programs for children that promote respect for the environment and healthy eating habits. New York’s farmers should not forego the economic benefits of agricultural tourism and education for our children due to fear of being sued,” he continued.
Once signed into law, the bill, sponsored by Senator Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Saratoga), will control rising insurance premiums by offering farms, equine establishments, wineries, and pick-your-own orchards liability relief when it comes to the inherent risks of agricultural tourism.
As Stebbins’ letter notes, “The bill does not offer farmers immunity from liability; rather, it provides clarity for farm owners as well as the public concerning responsible engagement in agricultural activities.”
With support from the Business Council of New York State, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, New York State Horse Council, and New York Farm Bureau, the bill passed both houses of the Legislature at the end of session in June.