Missouri cattlemen back passage of liability protection legislation

The Missouri General Assembly moved the Business Premises Safety Act (SB 608) forward with a 106-28 vote in the House and a 22-8 vote in the Senate. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-21, modifies provisions regarding the liability of property owners when criminal conduct occurs on the property. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association calls the legislation a “victory” for business owners, including farmers and ranchers.

“If someone trespasses on a farm and manages to get themselves hurt, the landowner should in no way be held responsible for someone who is unlawfully on the property,” said MCA President Greg Buckman. “It is ludicrous to believe someone committing a crime on my property could hold me responsible if they were injured.”

Under current law, a landowner is not liable for the death or injury of a trespasser when the trespasser is substantially impaired by alcohol or controlled substances. The legislation, which was handled in the House by Rep. Shawn Rhoads, R-154, removes almost all liability from the landowner if the individual was on the property unlawfully.

“This bill is commonsense. If someone is committing a crime, regardless of their state-of-mind, they need to be held responsible for their actions and the consequences of those actions,” said Buckman. “Farm and ranch families in this state shouldn’t be responsible for some clown trespassing on their property.”

The legislation now moves to Gov. Eric Greitens.