Land Owner Liability

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Land Owner Liability

Postby saleen322 » Sep 7, 2011 12:55 am

I was looking thru the forum and I did see a reference to “lawsuit” in a discussion about exploring a cave. I would like to hear your thoughts about land owner liability if he/she permits cavers to explore a cave on their property. Is it a potential lawsuit? Do you recommend “Hold Harmless” agreements? What do you folks think? Thanks.
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Re: Land Owner Liability

Postby DeanWiseman » Sep 7, 2011 8:31 am

Going to forward this to one of the folks who volunteers his attorney skills for the NSS.

Be back soon...


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Re: Land Owner Liability

Postby DeanWiseman » Sep 7, 2011 9:36 am

Okay here's what a lawyer who serves on the NSS Board of Directors told me:

I know the answer to this in general terms, but would need to know a fair amount more. Most states have some form of the Recreational Use statute which provides limited immunity to landowners who let people enter their property or explore the caves. It varies among the States. I have written a paper on this in general terms and one for the SCCi analyzing our immunity in the various states where we have property. I have also drafted up anticipatory releases which I suggest landowners use, and which provide limited immunity.

If that person wants to contact me, I will give some general information.

Jay Clark --- jclark.director@caves.org


There you have it. You can contact him directly.


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Re: Land Owner Liability

Postby saleen322 » Sep 7, 2011 12:48 pm

Thanks Dean. I will follow up tonight when i get home.
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Great Group

Postby saleen322 » Sep 7, 2011 5:24 pm

I just wanted to take a moment to recognize what a great group you have here. Here is my story of meeting these great folks for the first time. My family, 3 sisters and I, jointly own about 45 acres more or less in Mifflin County, PA that was inherited from our Dad who bought it back in the 1960s. A cave was discovered after a large, about 200' sink hole developed over a couple of decades. Just above the sink hole, was a opening into the limestone going pretty much straight down and then horizontal. This was the beginning of "Ken's Cave" (our Father) or what some folks starting calling Sugar Cave. The family, with the exception of my nephew, really don't go there much but I make the 75 mile or so trip a couple times a summer with my camper. Last year, 2010, I think over the July 4 weekend I decided to take the camper over to Sugar Valley, the name of the area. When I came on to the property, there were a large number of cars parked there and I seen all kinds of caving gear along with signs saying, "Mudfest 2010." I politely asked a couple of folks if they could get a couple of cars moved where I normally park my camper and they nodded they would. Within a few minutes, a couple of people started the cars and moved them. A person then asked, again politely, "Are you here for Mudfest?" I replied that I wasn't (didn't know what that was!) and said that I am one of the owners. Within minutes, 3 or 4 people were there and were apologizing for not informing me. I assured them it was no problem and I did what I thought was the right thing, I blamed the communication breakdown on my sister Carol who gave permission. (I was right by the way!) The people were great and explained everything that was happening.

I just want to say if these are the kind of folks in your group, you are WELL represented. They truly left the place better than I can ever remember it looking. I have no intent on selling it in my lifetime (we all have to agree for that to happen) and I have no problem with people enjoying the cave. I don't ever see these caliber of folks causing any problem but sometimes things happen and I was curious about liability. I did get some information about that from the people there that day but I wanted to follow up. I just want to tell you, you have every right to be proud of your people and they represent you well.
Randy
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Re: Great Group

Postby DeanWiseman » Sep 8, 2011 10:10 am

saleen322 wrote:I just want to say if these are the kind of folks in your group, you are WELL represented. They truly left the place better than I can ever remember it looking. I have no intent on selling it in my lifetime (we all have to agree for that to happen) and I have no problem with people enjoying the cave. I don't ever see these caliber of folks causing any problem but sometimes things happen and I was curious about liability. I did get some information about that from the people there that day but I wanted to follow up. I just want to tell you, you have every right to be proud of your people and they represent you well.



:banana_yay: :banana: :bananabat: :woohoo: :bananawhip:

:thanks:

Very much appreciated from everyone involved!

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Re: Land Owner Liability

Postby MUD » Mar 19, 2015 2:26 pm

saleen322 wrote:I just wanted to take a moment to recognize what a great group you have here. Here is my story of meeting these great folks for the first time. My family, 3 sisters and I, jointly own about 45 acres more or less in Mifflin County, PA that was inherited from our Dad who bought it back in the 1960s. A cave was discovered after a large, about 200' sink hole developed over a couple of decades. Just above the sink hole, was a opening into the limestone going pretty much straight down and then horizontal. This was the beginning of "Ken's Cave" (our Father) or what some folks starting calling Sugar Cave. The family, with the exception of my nephew, really don't go there much but I make the 75 mile or so trip a couple times a summer with my camper. Last year, 2010, I think over the July 4 weekend I decided to take the camper over to Sugar Valley, the name of the area. When I came on to the property, there were a large number of cars parked there and I seen all kinds of caving gear along with signs saying, "Mudfest 2010." I politely asked a couple of folks if they could get a couple of cars moved where I normally park my camper and they nodded they would. Within a few minutes, a couple of people started the cars and moved them. A person then asked, again politely, "Are you here for Mudfest?" I replied that I wasn't (didn't know what that was!) and said that I am one of the owners. Within minutes, 3 or 4 people were there and were apologizing for not informing me. I assured them it was no problem and I did what I thought was the right thing, I blamed the communication breakdown on my sister Carol who gave permission. (I was right by the way!) The people were great and explained everything that was happening.

I just want to say if these are the kind of folks in your group, you are WELL represented. They truly left the place better than I can ever remember it looking. I have no intent on selling it in my lifetime (we all have to agree for that to happen) and I have no problem with people enjoying the cave. I don't ever see these caliber of folks causing any problem but sometimes things happen and I was curious about liability. I did get some information about that from the people there that day but I wanted to follow up. I just want to tell you, you have every right to be proud of your people and they represent you well.
Randy


:waving: Hello Randy! I am just now seeing this thread after your other post on Sugar Cave. I can't thank your family enough for allowing us to enjoy that beautiful place! Since the very first day I was there with Norman L. mushroom hunting I knew it was special. That was not long after that hole opened up in the middle of the stream. When I first saw it I got really excited! Since I lived just down the street from your folks I stopped your Dad one day while he was coming back from getting his newspaper. I asked him if he cared if I could dig around for a cave over there. He was intrigued that I loved that hole and wanted to know where all that water was going. He told me I could go over there whenever I wished and dig around for a cave. He also said no littering or disrespecting the property! And lastly, be careful! Well after around 18 years of sporadic digging on the ever growing sinkhole we finally broke through! There's around 1/2 mile of passages under that sink and area up/down stream of there. There's more there somewhere but it eludes us for now! I would love to take you in there to see it if you desire. Trenton has been in there with us several times.

It is absolutely because of landowners such as yourselves that we get to enjoy these beautiful places! And that is why we would never disrespect that property/cave. THANK YOU again!
:bow: :clap:

:grin: Mud



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