(A) Notwithstanding section 4961.37 of the Revised Code, a railroad company, public agency, or other person operating passenger rail service on a right-of-way owned by another shall indemnify and hold harmless the owner, user, or other rights holder for liability for any damages arising out of passenger operations conducted by or on behalf of the railroad company, public agency, or other person operating passenger rail service and for all claims for damages for harm arising from any accident or incident occurring in connection with the operations conducted by or on behalf of the railroad company, public agency, or other person operating passenger rail service.
(B) Each railroad company, public agency, or other person operating passenger rail service on a right-of-way owned by another shall maintain an aggregate limit of liability coverage of no less than two hundred million dollars.
(C) The liability for damages for harm, including any punitive damages, of a railroad company or other entity over whose tracks passenger rail service operations are conducted by another shall not be in an amount greater than the limits of the liability coverage maintained by the railroad company, public agency, or other person operating passenger rail service.
(D) Division (A) of this section shall not apply if the railroad company or other entity over whose tracks the passenger rail service operations are conducted, committed an act or omission with reckless, wanton, willful, or gross negligence and the act or omission proximately caused the harm in question.
(E) The operator of an excursion rail service and the owner of any railroad property over which the excursion rail service will be provided may negotiate to determine the amount of liability coverage necessary to satisfy the owner's private insurance requirements. If the operator and owner reach agreement on the amount of private insurance coverage so required, division (B) of this section shall not apply to the operation of the excursion rail service over that railroad property. This division does not require any owner of railroad property to enter into such negotiations, to agree to an amount of liability coverage that the owner determines to be insufficient indemnification, nor to permit any excursion rail service operator to have access to the railroad property.
(F) As used in this section:
(1) "Harm" means injury, death, or loss to person or property.
(2) "Passenger rail service" includes intercity passenger, commuter, or high speed rail transportation service.
(3) "Excursion rail service" means any rail passenger service that is undertaken primarily for education, entertainment, recreation, or scenic observation and that does not involve any of the following:
(a) The carrying of freight other than the personal luggage of the passengers or crew, or supplies and equipment necessary to serve the needs of the passengers or crew;
(b) The carrying of passengers who are commuting to work;
(c) The carrying of passengers who are traveling to a final destination solely for business or commercial purposes.
Effective Date: 06-30-1997 .