CHAPTER 169

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 248

AN ACT TO AMEND DELAWARE CODE, TITLE 16, CHAPTER 6B RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM CIVIL LIABILITY.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Delaware Code, Title 16, Part IV, Chapter 6B, by adding a new

subchapter VI, to read as follows:

"Subchapter VI. Civic Organizations Maintaining Parkland. §6840. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

(1) The term 'member of a staff' means any person or entity which:

a. Is a member, board-member, director, or officer of a civic organization; or

b. Is an employee of a civic organization.

(2) The term 'sponsor' means any person or entity which provides financial support to a civic organization through contributions, gifts, or payment of dues;

(3) The term 'negligent act or omission' shall be defined in accordance with applicable State law, except that such meaning shall not include any reckless act or omission nor any grossly negligent act or omission.

(4) The term 'civic organization' shall be defined as any non-profit organization, which is the owner of parkland, or which has contracted with the State or a political subdivision thereof for the maintenance of parkland, provided that:

a. The organization is not organized for profit or is qualified as an exempt organization under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as amended;

b. No part of the net earnings of the organization inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual;

(5) The term 'parkland' shall be defined as real property, including improvements erected thereon and fixtures attached thereto, used primarily for recreational purposes and owned by the State, a political subdivision, or a civic organization, provided that:

a. The property is not used by the civic organization or by any other person so as to benefit any officer, trustee, director, shareholder, member, employee, contributor or bondholder of the organization or operator or any other person through the distribution of profits or the payment of excessive compensation;

b. The property is used for recreational purposes and upon liquidation or dissolution of the organization, or abandonment by the organization, none of the assets of the organization nor benefits from the property will inure to the benefit of anyone except a community chest, fund, foundation, government, governmental agency, civic association, maintenance corporation, or other non-profit organization;

c. The use of the property is open, without charge, to the public members of the civic organization, or to the residents of the neighborhood, community or subdivision in which the property is located, regardless of sex, race, creed, color or national origin;

d. The property does not have a swimming pool thereon.

§6841. Limitation on liability of civic organizations maintaining parkland.

(1) No civic organization, as defined in Section 6840, shall be liable under the laws of this State for civil damages resulting from any negligent act or omission of such organization, its staff, or any person or entity with which such organization may contract, which act or omission occurs in connection with the construction or maintenance of parkland.

(2) No member of the staff of a civic organization shall be liable under the laws of this State for civil damages resulting from any negligent act or omission of such organization, its staff, or any person or entity with which such organization may contract, which act or omission occurs in connection with the construction or maintenance of parkland. The immunity provided in this subsection shall apply only to the extent that said damages exceed either existing liability insurance coverage applicable to the negligent act or omission or the minimum liability insurance coverage required by law if no coverage applicable to the negligent act or omission exists.

(3) No sponsor of any civic organization shall be liable under the laws of this State for civil damages resulting from any negligent act or omission of such organization, its staff, or any person or entity with which such organization may contract, which act or omission occurs in connection with the construction or maintenance of parkland. The immunity provided in this subsection shall apply only to the extent that said damages exceed either existing liability insurance coverage applicable to the negligent act or omission or the minimum liability insurance coverage required by law if no coverage applicable to the negligent act or omission exists.

§6842. Applicability

This subchapter shall apply to any cause of action arising after the enactment of this subchapter."

Approved July 14, 1987.