Agritourism Bill Signed Into Law by Governor Lee

Legislation Aimed at Protecting Farm Venues Originated in Jefferson County

State Representative Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) and Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) sponsored legislation in the 111th General Assembly to protect Agritourism venues from liability. House Bill 2371 and Senate Bill 2423 shield Agritourism professionals and farm businesses from liability that may result from damage to a participant’s property during a Agritourism activity. In passing this legislation, both houses of the General Assembly unanimously recognized the unique nature of participating in farm related activities and the inherent risks associated with farm tourism. Senators Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City), Paul Rose (R-Tipton/Shelby County), and John Stevens (R-Huntington) co-sponsored the legislation. Jefferson County Agritourism business owner David Seal lobbied members of the Tennessee General Assembly in February and March to consider the legislation.

In 2009, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted the Agritourism Limit of Liability Statute as part of a sweeping tort liability reform movement. Originally, the statute protected Agritourism professionals only from liability related to “injury or death of a Agritorism participant”. The Faison/Niceley Bill adds “immunity from property damage” to T.C.A. § 43-39-102 and T.C.A § 43-39-103.

Passing this bill on behalf of my Jefferson County constituent is exactly how our legislature is supposed to work. David Seal’s initiative will help agritourism all over Tennessee ” – Representative Jeremy Faison

Representative Andrew Farmer (R- Sevierville) serves on the House Judiciary Committee, which played a key role in advancing the bill to the full House of Representatives for a vote. With Governor Bill Lee’s signature on June 15, 2020, the legislative act became Public Chapter 683, effective upon becoming law.

Source: Submitted by David Seal