WV TRESPASSING LAW Senate Passes Bill That Limits Liability For Property Owners In Trespassing Cases
Reported by: Associated Press
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Mar. 5, 2013 12:02 PM EST
Eyewitness News Photo
, Kanawha County
, West Virginia
The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed a bill that would ensure that property owners face very limited liability from trespassers on their land.
In general, common law states that property owners cannot be sued by trespassers unless they recklessly or willfully injure the trespasser.
The bill passed on Tuesday would lock that common law into written legislation.
A recent publication of the non-binding but influential American Law Institute dissolves some of the legal distinctions between trespassers and regular invitees. The institute advises that property owners are still protected against suit from "flagrant" trespassers, but other trespassers would have some added legal standing.
The legislation would limit the traditional discretionary authority of judges to interpret common law practices on a case by case basis.
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