MDC to Host Public Hearing on Potential Trail Closure July 20th

A public hearing will be held at the West Hartford Town Hall, Tuesday, July 20th at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the potential closure of biking and hiking trails on MDC property. The move comes following a multi-million dollar lawsuit from a biker who was injured on MDC property eight years ago.

Some advocates want the state to grant total immunity to MDC lands. We spoke with State Representative Andrew Fleischmann who said other options to keep the trails open should be considered.

Links:
MDC’s News Release Page
Save the MDC Trails Organization
State Representative Andrew Fleischmann

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  • http://www.savethemdctrails.org CFPA Eric

    I'm a big fan of Representative Fleischmann and this is a very good awareness-raising piece, but there is a misunderstanding about “total sovereign immunity”. That is NOT what http://www.savethemdctrails.org is advocating. Towns would still be liable if they were grossly negligent (responsible for wanton and willful malicious conduct), but they shouldn't be as vulnerable to lawsuits as they currently are under the recreational liability statute. We need some balance!

  • Bikerider

    I think that's exactly the point Rep. Fleischmann is making: wanton and willful malicious conduct implies that the only time MDC would be liable is if an employee rigged a tree to fall on somebody's head.

    There are times when unintentional, yet negligent conduct can result in injuries or worse. Aren't those who fall victim to such things entitled to compensation for damages? Personally I feel as though MDC is trying to strong arm the community in an effort to reduce their overall liability and cut back on maintaining their properties. This whole thing seems a bit fishy to me.

    Let's try to find some compromises and not jump to rash decisions that take away a person's right to sue for damages due to negligence.

  • http://www.savethemdctrails.org savethemdctrails.org

    This is a forest … trees go down all the time… the ground is littered with them. It would be impractical for anyone to maintain the miles of trails that exist on the MDC properties. And dead trees provide homes for all kinds of animals and insects. Private land owners that allow trails ( like the blue trails that are throughout Connecticut) on their property are not responsible if a tree falls and hurts someone.

  • http://www.savethemdctrails.org savethemdctrails.org

    This is a forest … trees go down all the time… the ground is littered with them. It would be impractical for anyone to maintain the miles of trails that exist on the MDC properties. And dead trees provide homes for all kinds of animals and insects. Private land owners that allow trails ( like the blue trails that are throughout Connecticut) on their property are not responsible if a tree falls and hurts someone.