Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Scene of Fatal Idaho Corn Maze Accident Shielded by 'Agritourism' Law

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Officials are pointing to a new Idaho law that shields a business from liability in the shadow of the death of an 18-year-old boy at an Idaho corn maze.

Jeremy McSpadden was killed instantly when he fell in front of a bus while playing the role of a zombie at a corn maze in the Idaho community of Hauser, near the Washington border. 

But the owners of the maze say they were never required to get a special license to run the operation.

"We've never had to get a permit to do it, or anything," Marilyn Beck told KREM-TV. "We've just tried to keep it safe."

And in 2013, the Idaho Legislature passed House Bill 113, the so-called "agritourism promotion act," which provides "for certain limitations on liability relating to agritourism," as long as there are warning notices posted. The legislation was passed with very little opposition (only one House member and one Senate member voted no). It was signed into law by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter in March 2013.

"You post a sign that says, there's risks that come along with attending this event. You know, possible injury or death. And you are assuming these risks," the Hauser farm owner told KREM-TV.

Meanwhile, the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the incident.


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