Why one city will be paying the price
Issues of liability at a skate park that isn’t even built yet are causing an uproar in the city of Niagara Falls. Apparently the agreement drawn up by former professional skateboarder Tony Hawk and park designer Aaron Spohn relieves them of any liability. The city’s mayor and community development director accepted a $10,000 grant from Hawk, who included a no-liability clause in the agreement.
And that could cost the city’s taxpayers years and years of litigation fees and settlements defending inevitable injury claims.
Skateboarding is classified as an “extreme sport,” a class that reported over 4 million injuries between 2000 and 2011, according to the New York Times. A 2014 study conducted by Western Michigan University School of Medicine shows that nearly one in every 10 of those involved the head (87%) or neck (17%). Annually, an estimated 1500 hospitalizations and 50,000 emergency room visits by young skateboarders occur nationwide.
Falling from various heights and while moving at great speeds commonly results in injuries affecting the spine, limbs, and hips. Fractures of the wrist and ankle are the most frequently reported. Concussions also rank very high among skating injuries, according to David Shafron, a Phoenix neurosurgeon.
More skaters were injured while skating on ramps and in skate arenas or parks, according to a 2001 study, while fewer than 10 percent of injuries occurred while skating on roads. Many skaters lack the training and skills to duplicate the stunts they see professional skaters pull off. Many amateurs also fail to wear safety helmets and padding, which increases the risk of broken bones, concussions, and even life-altering disabilities.
Risk management is the key to lowering the risks for injuries in any sport. We invite you to read our many free articles on injury prevention and risk management. We also offer Skate Park General Liability and Accident insurance. For more information, please call us at (800) 622-7370.