State Equestrian Liability Limitation Laws 

This area consists of the full text of equine activity statutes of those states that have enacted them.

Equine activity statutes are enacted to protect horsemen, camps, stables, and other horse providers from frivolous lawsuits arising out of horse accidents that could not have been avoided.

The statutes provide that a person may not bring a lawsuit if the accident resulted from an inherent risk of equine activities. They also spell out what risks - such as providing defective tack or failing appropriately to match horse with rider - are not inherent and therefore fair game for a lawsuit.

In many of the states that have enacted these statutes, the equine provider must post notices or include notices in contracts, or both, to bring their operations under the statute's protection. These notices must contain exactly the words required by that state's statute.

This area is organized alphabetically by state and consists of the full text of the statute, including any posting or notice requirements that may be in effect in that state.

As of February 1, 2015, 46 states - all but California, Maryland and New York - have passed some form of Equine Activity Liability Act (EALA).  These laws sometimes have titles other than "equine liability activity act" and several apply to farm animals in addition to horses.  These laws can share many characteristics but all of them are different. 
 

 

State

Statute

Sign Required

Release Required

Date
Enacted

Comments

RG

Federal Liability Risk Retention Act of 1986       Federal law allowing group insurance purchasing

RG

Federal Risk Retention Act Explained        

RG

Federal Risk Retention Act Guide        

RG

Discussion of the Risk Retention Act of 1986        

AL

Alabama 1975 6-5-337

Yes

Yes

1993  
AK Alaska - No Equine Statute No No   Persons can sign liability waiver

AR

Arkansas Code 1987 16-120-201

Yes

No

1995  

AZ

Arizona 12-553

No

Yes

1994

Recently revised, sweeping immunities

CA

California - No Equine Statute        

CO

Colorado Revised Statutes 13-21-119

Yes

Yes

1990  

CT

Connecticut Acts P.A. No. 93-286

No

No

1993

Very short - does not follow national pattern

DE

Delaware Code Title 10, Ch 81 8140

Yes

Yes

1995  

FL

Florida law  93-169, 773.01

Yes

Yes

1993

Allows liability for ordinary negligence

GA

Georgia 62-2701

Yes

Yes

1991  

HI

Hawaii ALS 249

No

No

1994  

IA

Iowa 1997 H.F. 132 ( 67 1)

Yes

Yes

1997

Amended 2011 to include domestic animals

ID

Idaho Code 1990 Ch. 18, 6-1801

No

No

1990  

IL

Illinois 1995 SB 240

Yes

Yes

1995 Written waiver revocable per law

IN

Indiana 1995 Act No 1551

Yes

Yes

1995  

KY

Kentucky 1996 HB 239

Yes

Yes

1996

Allows liability for ordinary negligence

KS

Kansas 1994  ALS 290

Yes

Yes

1994 Allows liability for ordinary negligence

LA

Louisiana 9:2795.1

Yes

Yes

1992 Amendments in 7/03 & 6/06

MA

Massachusetts Gen Laws 128 2D

Yes

Yes

1992  

ME

Maine Stat. Title 7 4101

No

Yes

1992

Amended 1999 - removed negligence exception

MD

Maryland - No Equine Statute        

MI

Michigan House Bill 5006

Yes

Yes

1995

Allows liability for ordinary negligence

MN

Minnesota Ch. 623, Art. 32

Yes

No

1994

Benefits Non-Profit entities only

MO

Missouri  537.325

Yes

Yes

1994 Allows liability for ordinary negligence

MS

Mississippi 1994  Act 443

Yes

Yes

1994

Amended 2003 - New Warning requirements

MT

Montana Code  27-1-725

No

No

1994 Amended 2016

NE

Nebraska 1997 LB 153

Yes

Yes

1997

Allows liability for ordinary negligence

NY

New York - No Equine Statute       See: New York Helmet Law

NM

New Mexico 13, 42-13-1

Yes

No

1993

Allows liability for ordinary negligence

NC

North Carolina 1997 HB 176

Yes

Yes

1998

Amended 2013 removing negligence exception

ND

North Dakota Code 53-10-1

No

No

1991  

NH

New Hampshire Rev Stat. 508:19

No No 1999  

NJ

New Jersey Statute 5:15-1 Yes No 1998 Allows liability for ordinary negligence
  NV Nevada SB129 No No 2015  

OH

Ohio 1996 HB 564

No

Yes

1999

Written waiver revocable; school, college, and university waivers valid for 12 months

OK

Oklahoma HB 1152

No Yes 1999  

OR

Oregon 30.684

No

Yes

1991

Immunities apply to adult participants

PA

Pennsylvania 2005 SB 618 Yes No 2006 Immunities apply to adult participants - requires large sign

RI

Rhode Island Laws Ch. 21, 4-21-1

Yes

Yes

1993 Allows liability for ordinary negligence

SC

South Carolina Laws 47-9-710

Yes

Yes

1993  

SD

South Dakota Laws  42-11-1

Yes

Yes

1993  

TN

Tennessee 44-20-101

Yes

Yes

1992  

TX

Texas1995 HB 280

Yes

Yes

1995 2011 amendment extends to farm animals

UT

Utah Code Anno. 78-27b-101

No

No

1992

Allows liability for ordinary negligence - Amended 2003

VA

Virginia Code  27.5, 3.1-796.130

No

Yes

1991

Allows liability for ordinary negligence

VT

Vermont 12 V.S.A. 1039

Yes

Yes

1998

Approved April 30, 1996; effective date unknown

WA

Washington RCW 4.24.530

No

No

1989  

WI

Wisconsin S. A. 895.481

Yes

Yes

1996

1996 amendments added sign posting/contract requirements

WV

West Virginia Code Art. 4 20-4-1

No

No

1994

Participants must sign statement

WY

Wyoming Stat. 1-1-122

No

No

1996

1996 amendments removed definition of equine activity "inherent risks"

 

 

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