Recreational use statutes are designed to promote access to recreation by reducing the risk landowners might face from providing that access. The Supreme Court of Nevada has recognized a revised recreational use statute now provides greater protections to landowners than were previously available. These protections also are available in more types of claims.

In Abbott v. City of Henderson, Abbott was a parent who tripped and fell over a four-inch drop-off while assisting her child on a slide. She sued the City, which asserted immunity per Nevada's recreational use statute, NRS 41.510. The Supreme Court noted that earlier Nevada case law limiting NRS 41.510 to rural, semi-rural or nonresidential properties was no longer valid because the statute had been amended to apply to "any premises." Thus, municipal playgrounds are now covered, to the extent they weren't before.

Abbott alternatively argued that she was not engaged in a specified recreational activity that the statute covered. The court rejected this argument. "Walking or assisting a child playing on a playground would be considered recreational both under the common law and under interpretations of analogous recreational use statutes from other jurisdictions."

Finally, Abbott argued the City was not immune because of its "willful or malicious failure to guard, or to warn against, a dangerous condition, use, structure or activity" as specified in NRS 41.510(3)(a)(1). Abbott argued the City knew of the hazard through inspections but did not remedy or warn. That argument was rejected because "willfulness ... requires a design to inflict injury." There was no such evidence here; thus the district court properly granted summary judgment.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.