N.M. working on laws to limit lawsuits by future space travelers

Jessica M. Karmasek Feb. 10, 2012, 9:41am

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Legal Newsline) - One New Mexico city is supporting legislation that would limit lawsuits by future space travelers.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reported last week that the Las Cruces City Council approved a resolution backing Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 239.

Both bills would amend the state's Spaceflight Informed Consent Act to extend limited liability to manufacturers and suppliers of spacecraft and their components. The bills would not protect gross negligence.

Last month, the county commission approved a similar resolution in support of the legislation.

The city council, in its resolution, points to the potential "economic development opportunities."

Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built, commercial spaceport, is located in New Mexico's Sierra County, about 55 miles north of Las Cruces.

The council says it's also sending a message to trial lawyers, who are against the amendments.

The legislation, introduced by state Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, and state Rep. James White, R-Albuquerque, wouldn't be the first of its kind.

Other states, including Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and Virginia, have recently enacted similar laws.

As of Friday, SB 3 was in the Senate Judiciary Committee and HB 239 in the House's Business and Industry Committee.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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