PACE article outlines potential risks from court ruling

A state Supreme Court ruling from earlier this year involving city of Portland property may have serious ramifications for public access to school grounds.

The case, Johnson v. Gibson, is explained in detail in a new article by PACE staff. It outlines the case and it potential effects on recreational immunity, which is contained in 1995 state legislation protecting public entities from lawsuits when the public uses recreational facilities, except in cases of gross negligence by the public entity.

The ruling in the Johnson case appears to open a chink in the concept of recreational immunity by allowing plaintiffs to sue employees of the public agency owning recreational land. The article notes that PACE is working to expand the definition of “owner” to include employees, volunteers and agents.

In the meantime, PACE wants to ensure that members have adequate information to protect them from legal exposure. The full article, including contact information, can be found here.