Sioux City lawmakers raise concerns about sledding legislation - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City lawmakers raise concerns about sledding liability legislation

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Sledding can be fun, but some accidents have proven it can be dangerous too.

Iowa lawmakers are considering a bill designed to protect cities from lawsuits.

Cities wouldn't be liable if someone was hurt on city property designated for sledding under legislation approved by a house committee.

The bill comes after a number of statewide sledding injuries in recent years, including one that left a Sioux City man paralyzed.

It would put sledding into an "inherent danger" category with things like skateboarding, in-line skating, bicycling and canoeing.

While it may sound good in theory, several Sioux City lawmakers say it doesn't have their support, at least not yet.

"This bill would not have helped the city of Sioux City in this current circumstances that exist in Sioux City. I didn't think there was any point in supporting a bill that would have no benefit for the city," said Rep. David Dawson, (D) Sioux City.

That's because the current bill covers hills that are engineered or created for sledding.

City Attorney Nicole Jensen-Harris says it needs to be amended before it could help Sioux City.

She says they've suggested changes that would offer more protection for public property that's used for recreation.

"We need to balance the harm to citizens, as well as the financial considerations for the municipalities paying out large claims for people who are going sledding at their own risk," said Nicole Jensen-Harris, city attorney for Sioux City.

Back in 2008, David Rosalez became paralyzed after sliding backwards into a parking sign at Sioux City's Sertoma Park.

He sued the city and was awarded about $2.75 million.

The city's insurance carrier picked up about $2 million of that.

Sioux City designated two specific areas for sledding back in 2010.

Signs are now posted in both Sertoma and Grandview Parks.

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