The ‘Landowner Protection Act’ will become law in Mississippi.
The bill seeks to protect property/business owners from lawsuits if a crime is committed on their property or if a person is hurt on their property and decides to sue.
In both chambers, lawmakers debated the bill on numerous occasions with some questioning if the bill would give business owners a sense of “immunity” when it comes to liability, and others stated that it would lead to a diminished sense of security.
“We are creating landowner immunity,” Rep. David Baria stated. “No matter how negligent [a property owner was] in failing to have security, lights in the parking lot, cameras, no matter how badly they disregarded those things, you will never be able to hold them responsible.”
Responding to those claims, Rep. Mark Baker stated that the bill is aimed at clarifying language in the law so that business owners know the “atmosphere of violence for which they will be liable.”
When the bill was initially passed by the Senate, Governor Bryant voiced his support for the legislation, saying that property owners should not be targeted by certain lawsuits.
“This is to simply protect landowners, farmers, and business owners,” he said. “This is a litigious society, and you’re going to get sued if anybody walks on your property and hurts themselves, and we should not be at risk simply because we own property and try to run a small business.”
He went on to say if trial lawyers were against the bill, that must be a good thing for businesses.
“When you see the trial lawyers that are screaming, that means that there is something good happening for businesses and for individual landowners across the state,” the Governor said.
The bill was passed on Monday after the Senate voted to concur on changes made to the bill by the House earlier in the session.