Cities on the hook for sledding injuries; Dubuque wants change - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cities on the hook for sledding injuries; Dubuque wants change

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Many sledders in Dubuque frequent Bunker Hills Golf Course, city owned property. Many sledders in Dubuque frequent Bunker Hills Golf Course, city owned property.
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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Current Iowa law covers cities for injuries sustained while doing most recreational activities, like skateboarding or kayaking. But the law leaves all Iowa cities on the hook for any injuries sustained while sledding.

"You don't have search very hard to find stories on the Internet of people getting injured in tobogganing accidents," Kevin Lynch, a Dubuque City Council member said. "They're usually head injuries, which tend to be pretty serious injuries. So obviously we think this is something that's really important that we get cleaned up."

Dubuque City Council included this law change in their legislative proposal at a meeting Monday. They've included it in the past, but think it has a good chance of getting changed this year, Lynch said.

As the law is currently written, it affects every city in Iowa, Lynch said.  He also said that all of Iowa's neighboring states have worked to change their laws.

Lynch also said if it doesn't get changed in the next few years, they would have to look at some potentially unpopular options.

"We could certainly look at passing an ordinance that bans sledding on city property," Lynch said.  "But we really don't want to do that."

The city is insured for incidents that could come up as a product of the law, but Lynch said it's much like making a claim on your car insurance.  You can do it, he said, but you certainly don't like to do it. 

So far, Lynch said, the City of Dubuque has not been sued over sledding accidents.

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