Court ruling could discourage farm tours

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Farms that host the public for educational tours might heed a decision by the Iowa Supreme Court on Friday.

The Court ruled that a woman who was injured at a dairy farm while chaperoning a field trip can sue the farm owners.

A lawyer for the injured woman said the case would return for civil trial after being dismissed by a district judge two years ago, according to this article by The Associated Press.

A 1967 law bars lawsuits against landowners who open their property to the public for recreational uses such as hunting, hiking and snowmobiling.

But the Iowa Supreme Court did not believe it conferred immunity to the farm owners in this particular case.

Holding farms liable could discourage them from offering educational tours in the future, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation warns. 


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PA  |  February, 18, 2013 at 09:11 AM

We need loser pays in america, this would fix half the frivolous lawsuits.

Hermiston, OR  |  February, 18, 2013 at 01:09 PM

I don't agree completely with the idea of "discouraging" farm tours. This issue, it should encourage farmers to enforce safety around the farm, not only for tourists but also for workers.

MI  |  February, 18, 2013 at 04:57 PM

We host dairy farm tours. We take precautions to keep people safe, issue warnings, and ask chaperones to do their job. Most visitors are compliant, but a few just don't listen, think they can go anywhere,anytime. We do carry an umbrella policy, and we hope it never has to be used... I agree that this ruling could set a precedent that will discourage me from opening the farm to others. Is it important to see where your food comes from? If so, then please listen to the farm family when they are talking, you are not at Disney - you are at a work place and should respect the wishes of those who own it.

newengland  |  February, 18, 2013 at 09:29 PM

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