Sledding ban in many cities around U.S. - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sledding ban in many cities around U.S.

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Sledding ban freezes winter fun. Sledding ban freezes winter fun.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

As the snow continues to fall, sledding is now becoming a major problem in many cities around the U.S. In some cities sledding is now banned due to liability concerns. The most recent is Dubuque, Iowa, which outlawed it in all but two of 50 parks.

A study by Columbus, Ohio-based Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that more than 20,000 children each year were treated at emergency rooms for sledding-related injuries between 1997 and 2007.

In meetings leading up to the ban, Dubuque council members chose to move forward as it was the only responsible choice given liability concerns and demands from the city's insurance carrier. This brought the attention of sledding lawsuits in the past decade, such as a $2 million judgment against Omaha, Nebraska, after a 5-year-old girl was paralyzed when she hit a tree and a $2.75 million payment when a man in Sioux City, Iowa, slid into a sign and injured his spinal cord.

“The ban's not gonna change anything. People are still gonna sled,” personal injury attorney Mark Eiglarsh said tonight on “The Kelly File.”

“If we're gonna ban everything that's bad for our kids, let's ban hot dogs, let's ban mozzarella sticks, no more swimming in the ocean, the list could go on,” Megyn Kelly quipped.

“It's not individual vs. individual, it's individual vs. a municipality […] they don't realize it's us [the taxpayers],” she said.

Some cities have opted a different approach to the sledding controversy, rather than an all-out ban. These cities include, Des Moines, Iowa; Montville, New Jersey; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Columbia City, Indiana. By banning sledding on certain slopes or posting signs warning people to sled at their own risk, cities lessen their liability if someone were to get hurt, but they're still more vulnerable to lawsuits than if they had adopted an outright ban.

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