895.481(1)(e) (e) "Inherent risk of equine activities" means a danger or condition that is an integral part of equine activities, including all of the following:
895.481(1)(e)1. 1. The propensity of an equine to behave in a way that may result in injury or death to a person on or near it.
895.481(1)(e)2. 2. The unpredictability of an equine's reaction to a sound, movement or unfamiliar object, person or animal.
895.481(1)(e)3. 3. A collision with an object or another animal.
895.481(1)(e)4. 4. The potential for a person participating in an equine activity to act in a negligent manner, to fail to control the equine or to not act within his or her ability.
895.481(1)(e)5. 5. Natural hazards, including surface and subsurface conditions.
895.481(1)(f) (f) "Property" means real property and buildings, structures and improvements on the real property.
895.481(1)(g) (g) "Spectator" means a person who attends or watches an equine activity but does not participate in the equine activity or perform any act or omission related to the equine activity that contributes to the injury or death of a participant in the equine activity.
895.481(2) (2) Except as provided in subs. (3) and (6), a person, including an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional, is immune from civil liability for acts or omissions related to his or her participation in equine activities if a person participating in the equine activity is injured or killed as the result of an inherent risk of equine activities.
895.481(3) (3) The immunity under sub. (2) does not apply if the person seeking immunity does any of the following:
895.481(3)(a) (a) Provides equipment or tack that he or she knew or should have known was faulty and the faulty equipment or tack causes the injury or death.
895.481(3)(b) (b) Provides an equine to a person and fails to make a reasonable effort to determine the ability of the person to engage safely in an equine activity or to safely manage the particular equine provided based on the person's representations of his or her ability.
895.481(3)(c) (c) Fails to conspicuously post warning signs of a dangerous inconspicuous condition known to him or her on the property that he or she owns, leases, rents or is otherwise in lawful control of or possession.
895.481(3)(d) (d) Acts in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the person.
895.481(3)(e) (e) Intentionally causes the injury or death.
895.481(3m) (3m) A person whose only involvement in an equine activity is as a spectator shall not be considered to be participating in the equine activity.
895.481(4) (4) Every equine professional shall post and maintain signs in a clearly visible location on or near stables, corrals or arenas owned, operated or controlled by the equine professional. The signs shall be white with black lettering, each letter a minimum of one inch in height, and shall contain the following notice: "Notice: A person who is engaged for compensation in the rental of equines or equine equipment or tack or in the instruction of a person in the riding or driving of an equine or in being a passenger upon an equine is not liable for the injury or death of a person involved in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, as defined in section 895.481 (1) (e) of the Wisconsin Statutes."
895.481(5) (5) If an equine professional uses a written contract for the rental of equines or equine equipment or tack or for the instruction of a person in the riding, driving or being a passenger upon an equine, the contract shall contain the notice set forth in sub. (4) in clearly readable bold print of not less than the same size as the print used in the remainder of the contract.
895.481(6) (6) This section does not limit the liability of a person under any applicable products liability laws.
895.481(7) (7) This section does not limit the immunity created under s. 895.52.
895.481 History History: 1995 a. 256.
895.481 Annotation The application of this section is not limited to equine professionals. The exception to immunity under sub. (3) (a) for faulty equipment did not apply when no connection between the equipment and the plaintiff's injuries was shown. Kangas v. Perry, 2000 WI App 234, 239 Wis. 2d 392, 620 N.W.2d 429, 00-0001.
895.481 Annotation "Provides an equine" in sub. (3) (b) means to make available for use an equine that the provider either owns or controls and does not encompass an equine previously sold or given to the individual claiming damages. Barritt v. Lowe, 2003 WI App 185, 266 Wis. 2d 863, 669 N.W.2d 189, 03-0034.
895.481 Annotation A person asserting that he or she has immunity because he or she was "riding," as an "equine activity," at the time of the injury-producing accident need not show that he or she was on the back of a horse at the moment of the accident. The statute is worded in terms of immunity for acts or omissions "related to" participation in an equine activity and not only for the act of the activity itself. Hellen v. Hellen, 2013 WI App 69, 348 Wis. 2d 223, 831 N.W.2d 430, 12-1916.
895.481 Annotation While it is true that a person who already owns or controls an equine can participate in an equine activity without being provided with an equine, in order for a person who does not own or control an equine to participate in an equine activity, someone must provide an equine within the meaning of sub. (3) (b). It is immaterial whether the person who allegedly provides the equine retains sole or primary control of the equine. Hellen v. Hellen, 2013 WI App 69, 348 Wis. 2d 223, 831 N.W.2d 430, 12-1916.
895.482 895.482 Civil liability exemption; ski patrol members.
895.482(1)(1) In this section:
895.482(1)(a) (a) "Compensation" means wages, salary, commission or bonuses paid for services rendered, but does not include the provision, at a discounted price or without charge, of food, beverages, clothing, passes or other incidental benefits to ski patrol members.
895.482(1)(b) (b) "Ski patrol member" means a registered member of the national ski patrol who serves in that capacity without compensation.
895.482(2) (2) Except as provided in sub. (3), a ski patrol member is immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions while he or she is acting in his or her capacity as a ski patrol member, including the rendering of emergency care.
895.482(3) (3) The immunity under this section does not apply if the act or omission of the ski patrol member involves reckless, wanton or intentional misconduct.
895.482 History History: 1991 a. 318.
895.483 895.483 Civil liability exemption; regional and local emergency response teams and their sponsoring agencies.
895.483(1)(1) A regional emergency response team, a member of such a team, and a local agency, as defined in s. 323.70 (1) (b), that contracts with the division of emergency management in the department of military affairs for the provision of a regional emergency response team, are immune from civil liability for acts or omissions related to carrying out responsibilities under a contract under s. 323.70 (2).
895.483(2) (2) A local emergency response team, a member of such a team and the county, city, village, or town that contracts to provide the emergency response team to the county are immune from civil liability for acts or omissions related to carrying out responsibilities pursuant to a designation under s. 323.61 (2m) (e).
895.483(3) (3) A local emergency planning committee created under s. 59.54 (8) (a) 1. that receives a grant under s. 323.61 is immune from civil liability for acts or omissions related to carrying out responsibilities under s. 323.61.
895.483(4) (4) A regional structural collapse team, a member of such a team, and a local agency, as defined in s. 323.70 (1) (b), that contracts with the division of emergency management in the department of military affairs for the provision of a regional structural collapse team, are immune from civil liability for acts or omissions related to carrying out responsibilities under a contract under s. 323.72 (1).
895.483 Annotation A town that responds to a Level B hazardous waste release in its own capacity in the absence of a county wide agreement does not receive immunity from civil liability under sub. (2), 1997 Stats., but other statutory and common law immunities apply. OAG 1-99.
895.485 895.485 Civil liability exemption; agencies, foster parents and family-operated group home parents.
895.485(1) (1) In this section:
895.485(1)(a) (a) "Family-operated group home" has the meaning given in s. 48.627 (1).
895.485(1)(b) (b) "Foster home" has the meaning given in s. 48.02 (6).
895.485(2) (2) Except as provided in ss. 167.10 (7) and 343.15 (2), any foster or family-operated group home parent licensed under s. 48.62 or 48.625 is immune from civil liability for any of the following:
895.485(2)(a) (a) An act or omission of the foster or family-operated group home parent while that parent is acting in his or her capacity as a foster or family-operated group home parent.
895.485(2)(b) (b) An act or omission of a child who is placed in a foster home or family-operated group home while the child is in the foster or family-operated group home parent's care.
895.485(3) (3) The immunity specified in sub. (2) does not apply if the act or omission of a foster or family-operated group home parent was not done in good faith or was not in compliance with any written instructions received from the agency that placed the child regarding specific care and supervision of the child. The good faith of a foster or family-operated group home parent and the compliance of the foster or family-operated group home parent with any written instructions received from the agency that placed the child are presumed in a civil action. Any person who asserts that a foster or family-operated group home parent did not act in good faith, or did not comply with written instructions received from the agency that placed the child, has the burden of proving that assertion.
895.485(4) (4) Any agency that acts in good faith in placing a child with a foster or family-operated group home parent is immune from civil liability for any act or omission of the agency, the foster or family-operated group home parent, or the child unless all of the following occur:
895.485(4)(a) (a) The agency has failed to provide the foster or family-operated group home parent with any information relating to a medical, physical, mental, or emotional condition of the child that it is required to disclose under this paragraph. The department of children and families shall promulgate rules specifying the kind of information that an agency shall disclose to a foster or family-operated group home parent that relates to a medical, physical, mental, or emotional condition of the child.
895.485(4)(b) (b) Bodily injury to the child or any other person or damage to the property of the child or any other person occurs as a direct result of the failure under par. (a).
895.485 Note NOTE: 1987 Wis. Act 377 contains a prefatory note explaining the act.
895.485 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. DCF 37, Wis. adm. code.
895.485 Annotation Foster parents are not agents of the county for purposes of tort liability. Kara B. v. Dane County, 198 Wis. 2d 24, 542 N.W.2d 777 (Ct. App. 1995), 94-1081. See also Estate of Cooper v. Milwaukee County, 103 F. Supp. 2d 1124 (2000).
895.486 895.486 Civil immunity exemption; reports of insurance fraud.
895.486(1)(1) In this section, "insurance fraud" means the presentation of any statement, document or claim, or the preparation of a statement, document or claim with the knowledge that the statement, document or claim will be presented, that the person knew or should have known contained materially false, incomplete or misleading information concerning any of the following:
895.486(1)(a) (a) An application for the issuance of an insurance policy.
895.486(1)(b) (b) A claim for payment, reimbursement or benefits payable under an insurance policy.
895.486(1)(c) (c) A payment made in accordance with the terms of an insurance policy.
895.486(1)(d) (d) A premium on an insurance policy.
895.486(1)(e) (e) The rating of an insurance policy.
895.486(2) (2) Any person who, absent malice, files a report with or furnishes information concerning suspected, anticipated, or completed insurance fraud is immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in filing the report or furnishing the information to any of the following or to their agents, employees or designees:
895.486(2)(a) (a) The office of the commissioner of insurance.
895.486(2)(b) (b) A law enforcement officer.
895.486(2)(c) (c) The National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
895.486(2)(d) (d) Any governmental agency established to detect and prevent insurance fraud.
895.486(2)(e) (e) Any nonprofit organization established to detect and prevent insurance fraud.
895.486(2)(f) (f) Any insurer or authorized representative of an insurer.
895.486(3) (3) Any information furnished by an insurer in response to a report or information furnished under sub. (2) is confidential and may be made public only if required in a civil or criminal action.
895.486(4) (4) If a civil action is commenced against a person for damages related to the filing of a report or the furnishing of information under sub. (2) and the court determines that the person is immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in filing the report or furnishing the information, the person filing the report or furnishing the information shall recover costs under ch. 814 and, notwithstanding s. 814.04 (1), reasonable attorney fees.
895.486 History History: 1995 a. 177.
895.487 895.487 Civil liability exemption; employment references.
895.487(1)(1) In this section:
895.487(1)(a) (a) "Employee" has the meaning given in s. 101.01 (3) and also includes a former employee.
895.487(1)(b) (b) "Employer" has the meaning given in s. 101.01 (4).
895.487(1)(c) (c) "Reference" means a statement about an employee's job performance or qualifications for employment and includes a statement about an employee's job performance or qualifications for employment provided pursuant to the settlement of a dispute between the employer and employee or provided pursuant to an agreement between the employer and employee relating to the termination of the employee's employment.
895.487(2) (2) An employer who, on the request of an employee or a prospective employer of the employee, provides a reference to that prospective employer is presumed to be acting in good faith and, unless lack of good faith is shown by clear and convincing evidence, is immune from all civil liability that may result from providing that reference. The presumption of good faith under this subsection may be rebutted only upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the employer knowingly provided false information in the reference, that the employer made the reference maliciously or that the employer made the reference in violation of s. 111.322.
895.487 History History: 1995 a. 441; 1997 a. 35.
895.487 Annotation The malice referred to in sub. (2) is express malice, which requires a showing of ill will, bad intent, envy, spite, hatred, revenge, or other bad motives against the person defamed, and not actual malice, which requires statements made with knowledge of falsity or with reckless disregard for the truth. Gibson v. Overnite Transportation Co. 2003 WI App 210, 267 Wis. 2d 429, 671 N.W.2d 388, 02-3158.
895.487 Annotation Employer Liability for Employment References. Mac Kelly. Wis. Law. May 2008.
895.488 895.488 Civil liability exemption; owner or person in lawful possession of the premises.
895.488(1) (1) In this section:
895.488(1)(a) (a) "Construction site" has the meaning given in s. 943.15 (2) (a).
895.488(1)(b) (b) "Owner or person in lawful possession of the premises" has the meaning given in s. 943.15 (2) (b).
895.488(2) (2) The owner or person in lawful possession of the premises and his or her employees are immune from civil liability for the injury or death of an assessor or a member of the staff of an assessor who enters a construction site without the permission of the owner or person in lawful possession of the premises or his or her employee to make an assessment on behalf of the state or a political subdivision.
895.488(3) (3) The immunity under this section does not apply if the injury or death resulted from the reckless, wanton, or intentional misconduct of the owner or person in lawful possession of the premises or his or her employee.
895.488 History History: 2009 a. 68.
895.489 895.489 Civil liability exemption; tenancy references.
895.489(1)(1) In this section:
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before Oct. 4, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after Oct. 4, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-4-14)