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8 the Recreational Use Act."59 If the recreational use stat- on a paved trail or state-owned land."68 Therefore, the ute does not apply, for example, because a public entity State had the recreational use statute as a defense to charged a fee for entry onto or use of its property, there causes of action that otherwise would have been per- may be immunity nevertheless under the applicable mitted against the State under its tort claims act tort claims act.60 known as the Tennessee Claims Commission Act.69 In sum, it is possible that a public entity would not Nevertheless, the reversal of the dismissal of the plain- have a defense under one statute but would have a de- tiff's case was affirmed; because bicycling on a paved fense under the other. One article even states that a trail in the state park was a recreational use, the plain- combination of a tort claims act and a recreational use tiff was entitled to a factual development of the case statute may preclude virtually any actions against a before determining whether any of the exceptions to public entity "even in cases of willful misconduct" by the state immunity under the recreational use statute ap- public entity.61 plied. Another example of a defense under a recreational B. Immunity From Bikeway Claims Under Some use statute when there was no defense under a tort Recreational Use Statutes claims act is Stephen F. Austin State University v. When there is a claim for which the public entity Flynn.70 The Supreme Court of Texas agreed with an could be held liable under a state tort claims act, the appellate court that Stephen F. Austin State University state's recreational use statute, nevertheless, may be (SFA) did not have immunity under the tort claims act applicable in over 30 states in which the statutes apply but disagreed with and reversed the appellate court's to public entities and immunize them for their action. ruling that SFA did not have immunity under the rec- In Parent v. State,62 the young bicyclist was injured in a reational use statute. SFA had granted an easement to state park in Tennessee "after he was thrown from his the city of Nacogdoches for a trail that crossed SFA's bicycle when a steep portion of the paved bicycle trail campus.71 The plaintiff was injured while riding on the culminated in a sharp turn."63 Relying on the State's trail when she was knocked off her bicycle by one of the tort liability legislation, the plaintiffs alleged "that university's lawn sprinklers.72 Tenn. Code Ann. § 9-8-307(a)(1)(C) and (a)(1(I) remove First, the court held, as did the appellate court, that immunity for a dangerous condition that has been neg- SFA's decisions regarding "where the water was to ligently created or maintained on state-controlled prop- spray were operational- or maintenance-level decisions" erty."64 The State argued, however, that it was immune rather than decisions involving the formulation of pol- under Tennessee's recreational use statute.65 The Su- icy; thus, SFA was not protected from liability by the preme Court of Tennessee agreed with the State and discretionary function exemption in the tort claims held that the recreational use statute was also "an af- act.73 Second, however, the court held that SFA had firmative defense to other viable causes of action out- immunity under the recreational use statute. SFA was side the recreational use statute."66 still the owner of the land and was entitled to immunity Although the recreational use statute did not enu- even though it had granted an easement to the city.74 merate biking as a recreational activity, the court The court held "that a landowner who dedicates a pub- stated that bicycling is a recreational activity "compa- lic easement for recreational purpose is entitled to the rable to the activities enumerated in § 102" of the rec- protection of the recreational use statute."75 The court 67 reational use statute. The court held that the recrea- rejected the plaintiff's claim that SFA could not claim tional use statute "provide[d] the State with an immunity because its actions amounted to "gross negli- immunity-defense when injury occurs during bicycling gence, malicious intent, or bad faith" under the recrea- 76 tional use statute. 59 Guidance Id. 60 In a tort claim case against a public entity for an ac- 289 Ill. App. 3d at 771, 682 N.E.2d at 432. 61 cident involving a bikeway it is important to consider Interface Between the Recreation and Land Use Act and both the applicable tort claims act and the state's recrea- the Sovereign Immunity Act--Blanket Immunity for the tional use statute that may be applicable to bikeways. Commonwealth in State Park Actions?, 70 PA. BAR ASS'N Depending on the circumstances, a public entity could QUARTERLY 112, 11415 (1999). The article notes that the combination of a tort claims act and a recreational use statute have immunity under one or both statutes. Sections IV may produce a "strange result" not intended by the legislature, because there could be cases in which the state, for example, 68 "may be aware of a patently dangerous condition on its land, or Id. 69 even deliberately create the condition and still be immune Id. (citing TENN. CODE ANN. §§ 9-8-101, 9-8-301). 70 under the Sovereign Immunities Act." Id. at 112. 228 S.W.3d 653 (Tex. 2007). 62 71 991 S.W.2d 240 (Tenn. 1999). Id. at 655. 63 72 Id. at 241. Id. 64 73 Id. Id. at 658. 65 74 Id. at 24142 (citing TENN. CODE ANN. § 70-7-101, et seq.). Id. 66 75 Id. at 242. Id. at 659 (citations omitted). 67 76 Id. at 243. Id.