Punkin Chunkin: First Draft Of Liability Cap Bill Written - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Punkin Chunkin: First Draft Of Liability Cap Bill Written

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DOVER, Del. - The push to keep Punkin Chunkin in Delaware takes another turn with state lawmakers completing the first draft of a bill aimed at keeping the event in Sussex County.

Sen. Brian Pettyjohn (R) says he's sent the bill over to the "Punkin Chunkin Association as well as the attorney for the land owner to get their feedback."

According to Pettyjohn, the proposal would create a liability cap, essentially a limit on damages that would have to be paid for any personal injury or wrongful death at special events. The proposed numbers are similar to Maryland's with one difference, says Pettyjohn, the cap would only apply to non-profit special events.

The cap is a key part of the bill, because Punkin Chunkin is currently facing a lawsuit from a former volunteer who suffered spinal fractures back in 2011.

The liability cap, according to Pettyjohn, would protect other non-profits in the future.

"God forbid, if something was to happen up there, they would be in the same situation, possibly the same situation as the Punkin Chunkin is facing right now," said Pettyjohn.

As Sussex County maneuvers to keep the event, Wicomico County, which showed interest in hosting the event, could be out of the running due to a lack of space.

"The distances now that they are shooting would certainly be an obstacle," said Wicomico County council member Bob Culver. "We would have to work with because they are shooting for the one-mile mark."

WMDT reached out to Punkin Chunkin on Wednesday for a statement and are still waiting to hear back.

Now, it's important to note, this is still the first draft of the proposals. Pettyjohn says much more can change in the next couple of weeks before General Assembly reconvenes for session in January.

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