Senate Bill No. 338
(By Senators Palumbo, Beach, Kirkendoll,
Tucker, Williams, Nohe
[Introduced February 21, 2013; referred to the Committee on the
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §55-7-27, relating to
the liability of a possessor of real property for harm to a
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §55-7-27, to read as
ARTICLE 7. ACTIONS FOR INJURIES.
§55-7-27. Liability of possessor of real property for harm to a
(a) A possessor of real property, including an owner, lessee
or other lawful occupant, owes no duty of care to a trespasser
except in those circumstances where a common law right-of-action existed as of the effective date of this section, including the
duty to refrain from willfully or wantonly causing the trespasser
(b) A possessor of real property may use justifiable force to
repel a criminal trespasser as provided by section twenty-two of
(c) This section does not increase the liability of any
possessor of real property and does not affect any immunities from
or defenses to liability established by another section of this
code or available at common law to which a possessor of real
property may be entitled.
(d) The Legislature intends to codify and preserve the common
law in West Virginia on the duties owed to trespassers by
possessors of real property as of the effective date of this
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to codify existing common
law in West Virginia as it relates to the duty of care possessors
of property owe trespassers.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.
This bill was recommended for introduction and passage during
the Regular Session of the Legislature by the Joint Judiciary