A “Recreational Use” Statute Decision out of Kansas

In Lane v. Atchison Heritage Conference Center, Inc., No. 94634 (March 16, 2007),  the Kansas Supreme Court held that "mmunity from liability under the recreational use exception to the [Kansas Tort Claims Act] does not depend upon the "primary use" of the property but rather depends on the character of the property in question."  Therefore, the Court ruled that "the recreational use exception to the KTCA, K.S.A. 2006 Supp. 75-6104(o), applies when property is "intended or permitted" to be used for recreational purposes. The correct test to be applied under K.S.A. 2006 Supp. 75-6104(o) is whether the property has been used for recreational purposes in the past or whether recreation has been encouraged."

The Court then applied the statute to bar and slip-and-fall claim against the convention center which had hosted dances, card tournements, sewing demonstrations, local Bar meetings, etc.  The plaintiff in the case was injured at a New Year’s Eve Party.

Read the decision here.

Fortunately, our recreational use statute is not as broad as Kansas’ statute governing recreational uses on public property.  Here is our statute, which is applicable to public and private property.