The bill requires for-profit private swimming facilities to carry sufficient liability insurance.
The measure, which was sponsored by Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, and was handled in the Senate by Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, goes into effect immediately since it carried an emergency clause.
The bill, whose co-sponsors included Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, Ed Emery, R-Lamar, and Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, is named after six-year-old Ethan Cory, who drowned at The Swimmin' Hole in Joplin on July 17, 2007.
The governor's office issued the following news release:
Gov. Matt Blunt today signed House Bill 1341 creating "Ethan’s Law," which requires for-profit, private water parks to maintain adequate liability insurance of at least $1 million in the event of an injury or the death of a patron."I am pleased to sign this legislation that will improve safety at Missouri water parks and hopefully prevent another tragedy like the death of Ethan Cory," Gov. Blunt said. "This legislation requires them to purchase insurance and meet the safety standards of their insurer.""Today we remember Ethan Cory as Governor Blunt comes to Joplin to sign legislation that hopefully will prevent other such tragedies around Missouri," said Rep. Marilyn Ruestman. "I wish to thank the Cory family, Newton County law enforcement and firefighters, Senator Gary Nodler and Governor Matt Blunt for assisting in the timely conclusion of this important legislation."Ethan’s Law, sponsored by Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, is named after Ethan Cory, a six year old boy who drowned last summer at a private water park that was not regulated by the state. Ethan’s Law requires the owner of a for-profit, privately owned swimming pool or facility that has a capacity of less than 500 patrons and charges an admission fee to maintain adequate liability insurance in an amount of at least $1 million per occurrence in the event of injury or death of a patron. An owner who violates the provisions of the bill will be subject to a fine of $250 per day up to a maximum of $10,000 and will not be permitted to remain in operation. If an owner intentionally cancels, terminates, or fails to renew his or her liability insurance, the owner will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. The bill contains an emergency clause, so it goes into effect immediately upon Gov. Blunt’s signature.