Massachusetts Recreational Use Statute
Happy Marathon Monday! As the runners are out braving the wind, rain, and cold, we figured we'd write a running related blog post.
If you're running along a trail, trip on a root, and sprain your ankle, the municipality is liable, right?
If you're running on a paved path, step in a pothole, and cut your knee so that you need stitches, the municipality is also liable, right? The short answer is no. Under the Massachusetts Recreational Use Statute, GL c. 21 §17C, landowners who open their land to the general public for recreational use are immune from liability for injuries suffered by recreational users of their land, unless the landowner acts in a willful, wanton, or reckless manner or if the user paid a fee to use the land. Therefore, simple negligence on the part of a landowner is not enough to create liability; a plaintiff needs to show that the landowner acted in a willful, wanton, or reckless manner --terms that the courts have given meaning over the years.
Under the Massachusetts Recreational Use Statute, landowners, including municipalities, have avoided liability for injuries suffered by recreational users engaging in some of the following activities: bike riding through Franklin Park at night on the way home from the store; tripping on city property; being hit on head by top of storage box while trying to get a toy at the city playground; fracturing an ankle after tripping on cracked stairs; and injuring oneself on a defective softball field home plate.
How can the Law Office of Thomas R. Davis help you?
If you're ever injured while running, biking or doing some other outdoor activity, we're here to help you.
Call us anytime at (617) 431-3887 for a free, no obligation attorney consultation. You can also schedule a free 60 minute consultation online at www.thomasdavislaw.com. We are here to provide you with the quality representation that you deserve.