House Bill 150: Lawmakers Look at Limiting Recreational Liability

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony Tuesday on a bill that would limit the liability of Montana’s recreational businesses in lawsuits.

The bill states that recreation providers, such as whitewater rafting companies or backcountry ski guides, cannot be held responsible for the “inherent risks” of an activity.

Members of the tourism and recreation industries appeared before lawmakers to offer their support for the bill, which is sponsored by Republican Rep. Dee Brown of Hungry Horse.

Brown says the bill is not intended to deter legitimate lawsuits, but to clarify there are unavoidable risks associated with recreation in “wild and wooly Montana.”

The Montana Trial Lawyers Association says judges and juries should be allowed to decide such cases.