Tag Archives: bovine

Noting Some Less-Noticed Legislation — Business to Bovine

Nuts-and-Bolts of Being Business-Friendly
The depth of this year’s business-friendly phenomena in this year’s legislature may be illustrated by HB884, which is designed to make it easier to deny unemployment benefits to dismissed employees. The measure, pushed by the Chamber of Commerce folks, would allow “hearsay” evidence to be used in hearings on terminations.
The full story, written by yours truly for the Knoxville Business Journal, is HERE.
Bovine Bill Mooooves On
The state Senate has given final approval to a bill, SB339, that grants immunity from liability for injuries caused by “bovine activities” so long as the owner of cattle or other bovines posts warning signs.
Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden, objected to the measure, saying it “goes too far” by granting broader immunity than similar laws. Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, sponsor of the bill, said he disagreed with Herron.
Tracy said the bill has the same language contained in a 19-year-old law enacted to grant immunity for “equine activities,” or those involving horses, and there have been “no questions about what was done with equines in 1992.”
Herron’s attempt to amend the measure to retain liability for “gross or wanton” negligence was killed on a 22-11 vote with all no votes coming from Democrats. The bill was then approved — all no votes coming from Democrats — and sent to the governor for his signature.
Bill to Push More Mowing
Rep. Janis Sontany and Sen. Joe Haynes, both Nashville Democrats, have introduced legislation that would give local governments a new tool to compel property owners, many of them absentee landlords living in other states, to cut their grass.
Rest of the story by Michael Cass is HERE.
Towns Want More TDOT Money
Tri-Cities governments are again encouraging state lawmakers to pass legislation to develop a $15 million transportation funding pool for cities with a population between 20,000 and 75,000 people, reports the Kingsport Times-News.
The pool would offer “challenge grants” to those localities willing to finance a larger share of the cost on a road in the state route system.
“Such grants will stretch TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) dollars and advance the state’s critical road infrastructure needs as the transportation needs of Tennessee’s major cities consume the vast majority of available funding,” said the Tri-Cities governments’ Joint Legislative Policy document.

Things Legislators Say: Quote of the Day

“If I’m at the zoo and a mad yak jumps the fence and bites me, what does this bill do?”
-Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis, questioning Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah, on SB339, which grants limited immunity from lawsuits for “bovine activities.”
Dennis initially said he doubted that a yak was a bovine, though House Democratic Leader Mike Turner said that yaks are bovines. That being the case, Dennis, said, “The zoo may very well be protected.” The bill passed 88-6, but returns to the Senate for concurrence on House amendments.
Turner was one of the no votes. He expressed concern that the new law could immunize the owner of a “mean Brahma bull” that escapes and causes serious harm to someone.

Senate Limits Lawsuits Over Bovine Activities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal that would give Tennessee cow owners immunity from lawsuits for so-called “bovine activities” has passed the Senate.
The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Ferrell Haile of Gallatin was unanimously passed 30-0 on Thursday. The companion bill is waiting to be scheduled for a vote on the House floor.
Under the proposal, people engaged in “bovine activities” such as riding, training or milking could not sue the beasts’ owners who properly maintain their fences and post warning signs.
The legislation notes the “propensity of a bovine to behave in ways that may result in injury, loss, damage or death to persons on or around the bovine.”

‘You Can’t Predict What a Cow’s Going to Do’

Cattle owners who post an appropriate warning sign would be immune from legal liability if the animals subsequently harm visitors to a farm or livestock sale under a bill also approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
“You can’t predict what a cow’s going to do,” said Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, sponsor of the “bovine liability” bill, SB339. “This would take out some unnecessary liability.”
The measure prompted some discussion, but no criticism. Sen. Ophelia Ford, D-Memphis, asked Haile about potential dangerous cow activities and he invited her to his farm, saying “you’ll get a much better experience out there than I can relate to you.”
Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, asked whether enactment of the bill could mean greater liability for a cattleman who fails to post a sign. A legislative attorney said failure to post a sign would mean the cattle owner remains subject to liability as under current law.
“Couldn’t we just say that, if somebody gets kicked by a cow, it’s their own darn fault?” Campfield asked at one point, suggesting that the requirement of a sign for liability be deleted.
Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, said the sign requirement is warranted, giving people notice that “normal rules do not apply” on liability for a cow’s actions and people can then make a decision on whether to proceed with exposure to the animals.