Colorado Considers Limited Liability Law for Spaceflight Operators

A bill has been introduced in the Colorado Legislature that would provide commercial spaceflight operators with liability protection in the event they injure or kill customers.

The operators would not be protected if they: are grossly negligent or show willful or wanton disregard for safety; have actual knowledge of or reasonably should have known of dangerous conditions that resulted in injuries or deaths; or intentionally injure a spaceflight participant.

Customers would be required to sign the following agreement and warning statement before flying into space:

AGREEMENT AND WARNING

UNDER COLORADO LAW, THERE IS NO LIABILITY FOR AN INJURY TO OR DEATH OF A PARTICIPANT IN A SPACEFLIGHT ACTIVITY PROVIDED BY A SPACEFLIGHT ENTITY IF SUCH INJURY OR DEATH RESULTS FROM THE INHERENT RISKS OF THE SPACEFLIGHT ACTIVITY. INJURIES CAUSED BY THE INHERENT RISKS OF SPACEFLIGHT ACTIVITIES MAY INCLUDE, AMONG OTHERS, INJURY TO LAND, EQUIPMENT, PERSONS, AND ANIMALS, AS WELL AS THE POTENTIAL FOR THE SPACEFLIGHT PARTICIPANT TO ACT IN A NEGLIGENT MANNER THAT MAY CONTRIBUTE TO HIS OR HER INJURY OR DEATH. I, THE UNDERSIGNED SPACEFLIGHT PARTICIPANT, ASSUME THE RISK OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS SPACEFLIGHT ACTIVITY.

Virginia, Florida, New Mexico and Texas have already passes similar legislation. Colorado is seeking to have Front Range Airport near Denver designated as spaceport by the Federal Aviation Administration.