November 2013 - Parks & Recreation - 31

ipality was not acting in an immune
governmental capacity in the operation of a recreational swimming pool.
(See: Town of Big Stone Gap v. Johnson 35 S.E.2d 71, 184 Va. 375 (Va.
09/05/1945)). This Virginia recreation immunity statute, § 15.2-1809,
defines the " Liability of localities in
the operation of parks, recreational
facilities and playgrounds. " In pertinent part, this statute provides that
a city, town or county shall not be liable for ordinary negligence for any
injury arising out of the operation
of " any park, recreational facility or
playground. " Under the statute, any
governmental liability for community
park and recreation facilities would be
limited to gross negligence. Similarly, other jurisdictions have redefined
governmental liability and immunity for public parks and recreation by
statute, abandoning the common-law
principles of municipal liability based
upon the governmental/proprietary
function distinction.
As illustrated by the cases described
herein, these common-law principles
still persist in a number of jurisdictions wherein state courts continue to
struggle with their application, particularly in public parks and recreation.
In such jurisdictions, the existence of
fees and the privatization of public
recreation services along with public-private partnerships may be significant factors in determining whether
a particular program or activity is an
immune governmental function or a
proprietary function subject to negligence liability under state law.
" Swimming Hole " Rental
In the case of Estate of Williams v.
Pasquotank County Parks & Rec. Dept.,
366 N.C. 195; 732 S.E.2d 137; 2012
N.C. LEXIS 632 (N.C. 8/24/2012),
the Supreme Court of North Caro-

lina considered whether the defendant, Pasquotank County Parks and
Recreation Department, was entitled
to governmental immunity under
common-law rules that had " existed
for over a century. "

On June 10, 2007, Erik Dominic
Williams drowned at a public park.
The park, Fun Junktion, was owned
by defendant Pasquotank County
and maintained and operated by defendant Pasquotank County Parks

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Parks & Recreation

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November 2013 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November 2013 - Parks & Recreation

November 2013 - Parks & Recreation - 1
November 2013 - Parks & Recreation - 2
November 2013 - Parks & Recreation - 3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2015
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