Indiana Agricultural Display Liability – Agri-tourism

Encompassing things like farmer’s markets, antique tractor shows, U-Picks, farm tours, breweries, and wineries, agri-tourism offers just about something for everyone. In fact, agritourism makes up a big sector of the Indiana economy.

But what if while you’re out perusing an antique tractor show, you are seriously injured when the boiler on an old steam-powered tractor explodes? Can you sue for your injuries?

The answer, as we often say, depends. In 2011, the Indiana legislature passed a law giving limited liability protection to agritourism operators in Indiana. See IC 34-31-9 et seq.

Generally speaking, Agritourism operations are not liable for injuries and deaths that result from an inherent risk of agri-tourism activities. However, there are important exceptions.

But first, what qualifies as an agri-tourism activity?

The law defines an agri-tourism activity as any agricultural, horticultural, agribusiness operation, where the general public is allowed, or invited to participate, view, or enjoy the activities for recreation, entertainment, or educational purposes. It includes farming, ranching, historic and cultural agricultural activities, self-pick farms, and farmers markets. It includes activities involving an animal exhibit at an agricultural fair. It also includes natural resources-based activities, like hunting, fishing, hiking, trail, riding, camping, canoeing, kayaking, or tubing on a river.

The law defines ‘’inherent risks of agritourism activity’’ as ‘’conditions, dangerous, or hazards that are an integral part of an agri-tourism activity, including the following:

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