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AB 1146 Expands Liability Protections to Include "Wheeled Vehicles"

Government Code (Section 831.7) provides public agencies with immunity when a "hazardous recreational activity" results in injury or damage to property or persons. 

AB 1146 expands existing liability protections at public skate parks to include the following wheeled recreational vehicles,  in addition to skateboards: non-motorized bicycles; scooters; In-line skates; roller skates; and wheelchairs. 

A skateboard facility owned or operated by a local public agency that is not supervised on a regular basis may satisfy the  requirements of Section 115800 (a) if they: 

  • Adopt an ordinance requiring riders of skateboards and other wheeled recreational devices to wear a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads at the skate park; and
  • Post signs at the skate park facility which affords reasonable notice that a person riding a skateboard or other wheeled recreational device must wear a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads, and that failing to do so will subject the skateboard or wheeled recreational device rider to citation under the ordinance.
For agencies to preserve the hazardous recreational activity immunity, signage at skate facilities need to be updated to reference wheeled recreational devices.
February 9th is Safer Internet Day

For the last 13 years, cyber advocates across the world have used the second Tuesday in February to remind people to be careful out there. Yahoo has some smart tips for online safety:

  • Update early and often. Keep your operating software up to date. This is how security patches are delivered to your computer.
  • Keep anti-virus software updated. Anti-virus works by being continually updated for the most recent known threats.
  • Don’t fall for that scam. Phishing emails try to trick you into providing sensitive information and can be very convincing. If you get an unexpected email with a link, don't click it. Instead go directly to the company's web address by typing it into your browser.
  • Don’t touch that file. If you don’t recognize a sender, just delete the email. If it's from a friend or colleague, ask them if they sent it with a quick phone call or a totally separate email (don't hit reply).
  • Become a cyber-savvy parent. Connect Safely and Common Sense Media have helpful guides to keeping kids safe. Google's YouTube Kids app helps control video content.
  • Don’t install that video player. It could be adware or a virus. Any add-on, apps, or browser enhancements should be added from the source - not from a pop-up. Close suspicious pop-ups with CTRL+W or Task Manager instead of clicking anywhere on the window. Some malware pop-ups hide the virus in the "close window" link.
  • Be smart about passwords. Tip for a "secure" password is to take the first letter of each word in an easy to remember phrase; include capital letters, numbers, and a symbol. Use a password manager like 1Password, Dashlane, or Lastpass to help securely track all your passwords. Use two-step authentication when available. Change your passwords regularly and using different passwords for banking, Facebook, etc. This way, if a hacker gets one password, they won't have all of them.
  • Don’t get sucked in by fake Wi-Fi hotspots. Find out if in fact the cafe or lounge offers free Wi-Fi, and what the network name is, before you log on. Otherwise you could be handing all your Internet traffic to some rogue access point. Use secure sites for public browsing (starts with https:\\).
Intentionally Reducing Flood Protection Can Lead To Strict Liability
In Inverse Condemnation

by Saskia T. Asamura, Richards Watson Gershon

When a public agency decides to provide less flood protection than historically provided in order to protect environmental resources, it can be strictly liable for a physical taking.

The traditional California Supreme Court rule in inverse condemnation flooding cases is one of “reasonableness.” An exception applies in cases of intentional diversion of flow to a specific property for which a public agency can be held strictly liable. In a recent decision, Pacific Shores Property Owners Ass’n v. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, the Court of Appeal ruled the State Department of Fish and Wildlife was strictly liable in inverse condemnation because the Department intentionally reduced the level of flood protection of properties adjacent to a lagoon to protect sensitive environmental habitats.

Since the late 19th Century, a sandbar that regulated lake levels in the lagoon at Lake Earl, California’s largest coastal lagoon supporting numerous habitat types, was artificially breached to protect adjacent lands. In the 1960s, a residential development known as Pacific Shores was approved and designed in reliance on historical breaching at four feet. Over the next five decades, as federal and state environmental laws were adopted, numerous public agencies analyzed the drainage and environmental issues. Since 1991, the Department studied options for breaching levels, and the sandbar was breached regularly on an “emergency” basis. Finally, in 2005, the Department reached a permanent decision that breaching should occur at eight to ten feet to protect the environmental habitat. The surrounding properties had regularly flooded at that higher level.

The Department contended it was not liable in inverse condemnation because it had no duty to provide flood control protection in the first instance and had no duty to provide any particular level of protection. The Court rejected these arguments and ruled the Department was strictly liable in inverse condemnation for a physical taking. The Department was also liable under the “reasonableness” standard: “This is a case where the agency intentionally ensures private property will be flooded by reducing the level of flood protection that had been historically provided, and doing so for purposes other than flood control.”

If you would like more information regarding this case or about public entity liability for flood damage, please contact Saskia T. Asamura.

Copyright © 2016 Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California, All rights reserved.

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