Pennsylvania Landowner Liability Act
586, HB 1005, signed into law Feb. 2, 1966
to make land and water areas available to the public for recreational
purposes by limiting liability in connection therewith, and repealing
The General Assembly of
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The purpose
of this act is to encourage owners of land to make land and water areas
available to the public for recreational purposes by limiting their
liability toward persons entering thereon for such purposes.
Section 2. As used in
(1) "Land,” means land,
roads, water, watercourses, private ways and buildings, structures and
machinery or equipment when attached to the realty.
(2) "Owner" means the
possessor of a fee interest, a tenant, lessee, occupant or person in
control of the premises.
purpose" includes, but is not limited to, any of the following, or any
combination thereof: hunting, fishing, swimming, boating, camping,
picnicking, hiking, pleasure driving, nature study, water skiing, water
sports, cave exploration 1, and viewing or enjoying historical,
archaeological, scenic, or scientific sites.
(4) "Charge" means the
admission price or fee asked in return for invitation or permission to
enter or go upon the land.
Section 3. Except as
specifically recognized or provided in section 6 of this act, an owner
of land owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use
by others for recreational purposes, or to give any warning of a
dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity on such premises to
persons entering for such purposes.
Section 4. Except as
specifically recognized by or provided in section 6 of this act, an
owner of land who either directly or indirectly invites or permits
without charge any person to use such property for recreational purposes
does not thereby:
(1) Extend any
assurance that the premises are safe for any purpose.
(2) Confer upon such
person the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care
responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to persons or
property caused by an act of omission of such persons.
Section 5. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the provisions of
sections 3 and 4 of this act shall be deemed applicable to the duties
and liability of an owner of land leased to the State or any subdivision
thereof for recreational purposes.
Section 6. Nothing in
this act limits in any way any liability which otherwise exists:
(1) For willful or
malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use,
structure, or activity.
(2) For injury suffered
in any case where the owner of land charges the person or persons who
enter or go on the land for recreational use thereof, except that in the
case of land leased to the State of a subdivision thereof, any
consideration received by the owner for such lease shall not be deemed a
charge within the meaning of its section.
Section 7. Nothing in
this act shall be construed to:
(1) Create a duty of
care or ground of liability for injury to persons or property.
(2) Relieve any person
using the land of another for recreational purposes from any obligation,
which he may have, in the absence of this act to exercise care in his
use of such land and in his activities thereon, or from the legal
consequences of failure to employ such care.
Section 8. The act of
September 27, 1961 (P.L. 1696), entitled "An act limiting the liability
of landowners of agriculture lands or woodlands for personal injuries
suffered by any person while hunting or fishing upon the landowner's
property," is repealed.
All other acts or parts
of acts are repealed in so far as inconsistent herewith.
Section 9. This act
shall take effect immediately.
Approved - The 2nd day
of February, A.D. 1966
William W. Scranton
1. The words "Cave
Exploration" were added to this act by the act of 1992-10, signed by
Gov. Robert P. Casey
On March 26, 1992.
Cave exploration became
a covered activity on May 26, 1992.
The Landowner Liability