Law Protects Farmers From Liability Unless Negligent

Bedford Co., VA - A farm owner or ride operator can be liable for injury or death if it can be proven the person was negligent or acted with a disregard for peoples' safety, under Virginia's agritourism laws.

The laws also protect farmers from liability. The state requires any farm that's open to the public for entertainment purposes have warning signs, letting people know participation in farm activities is at their own risk.

"They tell you have to have one at each entrance to your farm, open to the public," said Danny Johnson, owner of Johnson's Orchard. "All this is stressed, written out in the law. It makes me feel a lot better."

Johnson's Orchard owner Danny Johnson says the code section will not keep a farmer from being sued. But, it makes it easier to insure the farm and could keep a family from losing its farm as the result of a lawsuit.