Where should the line be drawn when it comes to landowner liability? Agriculture Commissioner and candidate for Lieutenant Governor Todd Staples sounds off in a filing to the State Suprme Court on a case involving the deaths of several smuggled illegal immigrants in an accident on a ranch in Brooks County in 2007.
Staples tells 550 KTSA News the message in his brief is a simple one.
"That if a landowner did not contribute in a willful way to the accideent that occurs they shgould not be held liable" Staples said, adding "Private landowners can not be held liable for a trespasser's self inflicted injury."
Staples said the legal distinction is particularly important--given the role private property owners play in the state's overall economy.
"It really puts us all in jeapordy and our entire economy injeapordy if we have a legal system that allows landowners to be victims themselves if they have no fault in the tragedy that happened" Staples said.