University of Maryland Extension

Agritourism, Recreational Use, and Liability Waivers

Image Credit: 
Edwin Remsberg

Agritourism operators and other ag producers allowing the public on their property often worry about liability if a guest is injured while on the property.  Although many of us worry about these issues, Maryland's Recreational Use Statute does offer some protections when the property owner/tenant is allowing the guest to use the property for no charge.  When the guest is not charged, the statute allows for the guest to be held to the lowest duty of care (similar to that of a trespasser).  To get a better understanding of this statute, see here.

The statute will not apply to you if you are charging guests to enter your farm (like the majority of agritourism operations) then how do you limit your liability?  You may want to consider working with an attorney to develop a liability waiver.  This checklist (found here) can help you work through the initial issues before working with an attorney.  An attorney may also be able to work with you on other potential ways to limit your liability.

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