- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia lawmakers are sending Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin a legal reform bill shielding property owners from lawsuits about open and obvious hazards on their grounds.

Wednesday, the House of Delegates voted 81-18 to reinstate the open and obvious provision. Only Democrats opposed the bill.

The Senate passed a similar measure 33-0 last month. One more Senate vote is required.

The proposal would revive a provision that had been in state law more than a century.

A 2013 state Supreme Court ruling about a man who fell down a staircase without handrails abolished the open and obvious doctrine. Instead, the court said a jury could consider the comparative negligence of the victim and property owner.

The bill is one of several legal reforms being pushed by the Republican-led Legislature.



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