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From Rip Currents to Flying Umbrellas: Beach Liability Basics and Recent Cases

July 2008

Citation: 38 ELR 10452

Issue: 7

Author: Terra Bowling

Editor's Summary: With an array of activities available at the beach and an increasingly litigious society, liability issues are a major concern for beach owners and operators. In this Article, Terra Bowling provides an overview of liability issues that could result from accidents at the beach. After examining the role of common law in determining liability, she looks at statutory protections, with examples of laws in Hawaii and New Jersey. She also examines the role of adequate warning signs in beach liability cases. Finally, she reviews some of the most recent litigation surrounding accidents at the beach caused by rip currents, vehicles on the beach, flying objects, equipment rental, and dog bites.

Terra Bowling is research counsel for the National Sea Grant Law Center, which is located on the campus of the University of Mississippi.

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