Tort Liability Considerations for Therapeutic Recreation Professionals


  • Stacy T. Taniguchi
  • Mark A. Widmer
  • Amy M. Taniguchi


Tort liability, therapeutic recreation, schools, negligence, risk management


The purpose of this paper is to address tort liability issues for therapeutic recreation (TR) programs based upon legal elements already identified in extracurricular activities and athletics within the public schools. Using examples from case law, TR professionals should consider three important legal issues when designing and supervising recreational activities in their program: (a) when supervising individuals with disabilities in recreational activities, what are TR professionals expected to know, (b) what is the duty of the TR professional concerning supervision standards, and (c) what are the TR professional’s responsibilities for equipment and facilities being utilized? Answers to these questions provide a foundation for the development of guidelines for TR programs to reduce exposure to liability suits. Understanding the potential for legal problems, and ways to provide quality and safe programs, may increase the availability of TR programs in community settings by reducing risks and concerns regarding liability.





Conceptual Papers