Florida Space Bills

May 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Space Florida notes several space related bills passed by the Florida Legislature in a new press release. One of the bills is SB 652: Liability of Spaceflight Entities, which passed on May 4, 2011:

2011652er
1
2 An act relating to the liability of spaceflight
3 entities; amending s. 331.501, F.S.; revising the
4 definition of the term “spaceflight entity” to include
5 certain manufacturers and suppliers for purposes of
6 specified provisions for immunity from liability;
7 saving a provision from future repeal which provides
8 spaceflight entities with immunity from liability for
9 the loss, damage, or death of a participant resulting
10 from the inherent risks of spaceflight activities;
11 providing an effective date.
12
13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
14
15 Section 1. Section 331.501, Florida Statutes, is amended to
16 read:
17 331.501 Spaceflight; informed consent.—
18 (1) For purposes of this section, the term:
19 (a) “Participant” means any spaceflight participant as that
20 term is defined in 49 U.S.C. s. 70102.
21 (b) “Spaceflight activities” means launch services or
22 reentry services as those terms are defined in 49 U.S.C. s.
23 70102.
24 (c) “Spaceflight entity” means any public or private entity
25 holding a United States Federal Aviation Administration launch,
26 reentry, operator, or launch site license for spaceflight
27 activities. The term also includes any manufacturer or supplier
28 of components, services, or vehicles that have been reviewed by
29 the United States Federal Aviation Administration as part of
30 issuing such a license, permit, or authorization.
31 (2)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a spaceflight
32 entity is not liable for injury to or death of a participant
33 resulting from the inherent risks of spaceflight activities so
34 long as the warning contained in subsection (3) is distributed
35 and signed as required. Except as provided in paragraph (b), a
36 participant or participant’s representative may not maintain an
37 action against or recover from a spaceflight entity for the
38 loss, damage, or death of the participant resulting exclusively
39 from any of the inherent risks of spaceflight activities.
40 (b) Paragraph (a) does not prevent or limit the liability
41 of a spaceflight entity if the spaceflight entity does any one
42 or more of the following:
43 1. Commits an act or omission that constitutes gross
44 negligence or willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the
45 participant and that act or omission proximately causes injury,
46 damage, or death to the participant;
47 2. Has actual knowledge or reasonably should have known of
48 a dangerous condition on the land or in the facilities or
49 equipment used in the spaceflight activities and the danger
50 proximately causes injury, damage, or death to the participant;
51 or
52 3. Intentionally injures the participant.
53 (c) Any limitation on legal liability afforded by this
54 subsection to a spaceflight entity is in addition to any other
55 limitation of legal liability otherwise provided by law.
56 (3)(a) Every spaceflight entity providing spaceflight
57 activities to a participant, whether such activities occur on or
58 off the site of a facility capable of launching a suborbital
59 flight, shall have each participant sign the warning statement
60 specified in paragraph (b).
61 (b) The warning statement described in paragraph (a) shall
62 contain, at a minimum, the following statement:
63
64 “WARNING: Under Florida law, there is no liability for
65 an injury to or death of a participant in a
66 spaceflight activity provided by a spaceflight entity
67 if such injury or death results from the inherent
68 risks of the spaceflight activity. Injuries caused by
69 the inherent risks of spaceflight activities may
70 include, among others, injury to land, equipment,
71 persons, and animals, as well as the potential for you
72 to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to
73 your injury or death. You are assuming the risk of
74 participating in this spaceflight activity.”
75
76 (c) Failure to comply with the warning statement
77 requirements in this section shall prevent a spaceflight entity
78 from invoking the privileges of immunity provided by this
79 section.
80 (4) This section expires October 2, 2018, unless reviewed
81 and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
82 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.

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