Helena, Mont- House Bill 204 passed out of the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed by Governor Bullock on Tuesday May 5th and it is now law. This is a tremendous benefit to your industry and is the result of months of work and negotiation. Known as the Montana Recreation Providers Act (MTRPPA), HB 204 aligns Montana with 47 other states that recognize and allow the use of liability waivers by recreation service providers. Prior to the passage of HB 204 liability waivers were not recognized in Montana and, perhaps more importantly, they were deemed illegal for use via Judiciary opinion
Participants and clients are still assured protections as well since gross negligence or the failure to provide reasonable care based on standards of the industry on the part of the service provider are still grounds for setting aside a signed waiver.
However, now a liability waiver may be used to share responsibility where an accident occurred and was not the fault of the Outfitter, and prevent the participant from filing a lawsuit if the facts don’t warrant it. The effect will be a curbing of insurance premiums, fewer frivolous lawsuits and shared responsibly between providers and participants – in short money back to the Outfitting business.HB 204 was brought forward by a large and diverse collation of like-minded organizations that included Church groups; youth sports groups, the Montana Wilderness Association, Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, the NRA, and many others.
In a very short time MOGA Members will be provided several key documents we have prepared to enable MOGA Members to fully realize the benefits of HB 204. You are encouraged to review these documents when you receive them and, in consultation with your attorney create or modify you Waiver of Liability and Release documents in accordance with provisions in HB 204.
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