You can take steps to limit your potential liability by understanding your legal obligation or duty to protect visitors and other third parties from foreseeable harm. You also will need to know to whom you owe the duty and what duty others may owe to you. Steps you can take to limit your liability include obtaining insurance, procuring releases, and providing warnings. You should work with a licensed attorney in your area and your insurance agent to identify the tools that will work best for you. Author: Paul Goeringer; Title: Understanding Agricultural Liability: Premise's Liability (FS-1001)
In Maryland, 82.7 percent of agricultural operations conduct business as sole proprietorships (Census of Agriculture, 2012). As agriculture continues to evolve, however, producers should consider investigating all types of business organization structures for their operations to limit liability and provide additional forms of capital. This publication covers the major forms of business organizations and how they could potentially be utilized on the farm. Authors: Ashley Newhall and Paul Goeringer; Title: Using a Business Organization Structure to Limit Your Farm’s Liability (EB-422)
This publication discusses potential liability for livestock and other animals you may have on the farm. Typical theories for liability would include strict liability and negligence. This publication walks you through previous Maryland court cases involving livestock and when each form of liability was found. Finally, the publication offers suggestions on how to handle potential legal risks from livestock, for example utilizing liability waivers, purchasing the right level of general liability insurance, etc. Author: Paul Goeringer; Title: Understanding Agricultural Liability: Livestock and Other Farm Animals Livestock (FS-990)
The publication provides a general overview of previous court decisions related to fencing in agriculture and examples of county ordinances that impact fencing duties. For example, counties potentially have ordinances that impact the maintenance and construction of fences, specify how costs should be split between neighboring landowners, and liens to force non-paying landowners to pay their share of the costs. Author: Paul Goeringer, Title: Understanding Agricultural Liability: Maryland Fencing Law (EB-419)
This fact sheet can serve as another tool in a farmer’s risk management plans by providing information on how farmers can protect themselves from legal challenges from a nuisance or violation of an environmental permit. The information discussed in this fact sheet will not eliminate threats of lawsuits. Elimination of 100 percent of legal risk is not possible. Understanding Agricultural Liability: Legal Risk Management Considerations is available here http://drum.lib.umd.edu/handle/1903/16345. Author: Paul Goeringer, Title: Understanding Agricultural Liability: Legal Risk Management Considerations (FS-995)
The increasing interest of the general public in outdoor recreation activities, the limited amount of public land available, and increasing development of open space have created greater pressure on private rural land for recreation. Private landowners in Maryland will benefit from understanding the laws relating to landowner liability and trespass, and the safeguards
that minimize liability in order to make informed decisions regarding the use of their land by others for recreational activities.
Forest landowners in Maryland can increase the financial returns ofn their forest stewardship efforts by minimizing property, income, and estate taxes. This fact sheet describes several laws and programs that enable forest landowners to decrease their tax liabilities.