Be Mindful of North Dakota’s ‘Recreational Use Statute’ This July 4
If someone invites you on to their property to enjoy some fireworks today and you get injured, the landowner will not be held responsible.
This is because of North Dakota's 'Recreational Use Statute.' From the statute verbatim:
...an owner of land owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for recreational purposes, regardless of the location and nature of the recreational purposes and whether the entry or use by others is for their own recreational purposes or is directly derived from the recreational purposes of other persons, or to give any warning of a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity on such premises to persons entering for such purposes
This particular statute came in to play at a North Dakota county fair where an individual attended a fireworks show and fell to the ground in the grandstand after stepping on a rotten board.
The individual sued the landowner but the court ruled that the landowner was not responsible for injuries under the 'Recreational Use Statute.'
The statute does not apply to commercial and for-profit ventures. The fireworks display at the county fair was free and therefore it was not considered a commercial event.
The Washburn School of Law provides details of the entire case here in a post dated on April 2, 2016.
It should of course be noted that this statute applies every day year round and is not specific to July 4 or fireworks displays. Read the entire statute here.
Be safe out there today and know your rights (or lack thereof in certain instances)!