Report Title:

Tort Liability for Organized Children and Youth Activities

 

Description:

Limits tort liability of public schools, State, and counties for certain kinds of sports sponsored by organized children and youth activities occurring on school premises or public parks with the prior permission of the school, the State, or county. (SD1)

 

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

262

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

relating to tort LIABILITY.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Chapter 663, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is

amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"663- Limited liability for children and youth activities. If an organization that holds a permit from the State or a county to conduct a children and youth services program at a public park allows, as part of its activities, any rollerskating, skateboarding, inline skating, rollerblade hockey, bicycling, or similar physical activity, the State or county, as applicable, shall be immune from civil liability for any injury arising from such activities, except for such damages as may result from gross negligence, or wanton acts or omissions.

As used in this section, "children and youth services" means public or privately funded programs which provide developmental, social, preventive, protective, recreational, treatment, or rehabilitative services for persons who are age eighteen or under, including but not limited to, playground programs and after school programs."

SECTION 2. Section 302A-1148, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]302A-1148[]] Use of school facilities for recreational and community purposes[.]; immunity from liability. [All] (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), all public school buildings, facilities, and grounds shall be available for general recreational purposes, and for public and community use, whenever these activities do not interfere with the normal and usual activities of the school and its pupils. Any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, the department shall adopt rules under chapter 91 as are deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this section and may issue licenses, revocable permits, concessions, or rights of entry to school buildings and grounds for such periods of use as deemed appropriate by the department. All such dispositions, including those in excess of fourteen days, need not be approved by the board of land and natural resources; provided that approval by the board of land and natural resources shall be required when the dispositions are for periods in excess of a year. The department may assess and collect fees and charges from the users of school buildings, facilities, grounds, and equipment. The fees and charges shall be deposited into a separate fund and expended by the department under rules as may be adopted by the board.

(b) If an organization that is permitted by the department under subsection (a) to conduct a children and youth services program on school facilities allows, as part of its activities, any rollerskating, skateboarding, inline skating, rollerblade hockey, bicycling, or similar physical activity, the State shall be immune from civil liability for any injury arising from such activities, except for such damages as may result from gross negligence, or wanton acts or omissions.

As used in this subsection, "children and youth services" means public or privately funded programs which provide developmental, social, preventive, protective, recreational, treatment, or rehabilitative services for persons who are age eighteen or under, including but not limited to, playground programs and after school programs."

SECTION 3. Section 302A-1148.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]302A-1148.5[]] Use of school grounds; assumption of risk. Any person who enters school grounds for the purpose of using the school's grounds, facilities, or equipment for recreational purposes, and who is not a student or member of the faculty or administration of that school, is deemed to assume the risk of liability for any injuries or death resulting from the use of the grounds, facilities, or equipment. [This assumption] Assumption of risk shall not apply if:

(1) The person is an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed by the school; provided that the person has received prior written authorization from the school principal or other responsible person to use the school's grounds, facilities, or equipment[; or]; provided that assumption of risk shall apply for any injury arising from any rollerskating, skateboarding, inline skating, rollerblade hockey, bicycling, or similar physical activity permitted by that person; or

(2) The injuries or death were caused by wilful or wanton misconduct, including but not limited to the wilful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, or structure which was knowingly created or perpetuated, and wilful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous activity which was knowingly perpetuated."

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.