Oregon legislators have introduced a bill that could change the liability standard for businesses in the sports, fitness and recreation sectors.
In 2014, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in Bagley v. Mount Bachelor Inc. that the resort’s liability releases signed by people were unenforceable. Eight years earlier, Myles Bagley was paralyzed after he injured himself on the mountain and sued Bachelor.
The bipartisan Senate Bill 754 would reverse the decision. One of the main sponsors is Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend.
The bill summary reads: “Provides that operator may require person who engages in sport, fitness or recreational activity in various ways to release operator from claims for ordinary negligence.”
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Mount Bachelor President and General Manager John McLeod released this statement Thursday afternoon.
Mt. Bachelor is very supportive of the Protect Oregon Recreation coalition, and the waiver reform legislation Bill 745. This is about ensuring the legacy of outdoor recreation in our beautiful state of Oregon.
Without this needed liability reform, ski resorts and other recreation organizations face significantly increased costs as compared to recreation businesses in other western states, as well as the very real prospect of having to significantly modify operations, such as potentially closing areas of our ski resort when certain natural conditions exist.
We firmly believe this legislation is needed to restore the balance between the responsibilities of recreation and fitness organizations and the responsibility of individuals participating in sports and fitness activities that involve inherent risks. On behalf of Mt. Bachelor, I look forward to engaging members of the Oregon legislature to share our perspective and work with them to bring this important legislation to the Governor’s desk