Neb. Supreme Court Ruling on Liability Changes 25 Years of Case Law

October 10, 2006

North Platte, Nebraka’s skate park is closed until further notice because of a state Supreme Court decision about liability and insurance coverage.

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in late September that cities could be held liable for any injuries or damages sustained in places like parks, pools, and athletic fields.

The decision overturned 25 years of case law. Now cities owe the public the same level of care at recreational sites as they do at any other site owned by the city.

The ruling affects the insurance coverage currently offered for liability claims arising from skateboard park activities, said Johnnie R. Miller, director of the League Association of Risk Management.

North Platte is a member of the league, which is a group of cities that provides insurance coverage specially designed for Nebraska risks.

North Platte Mayor G. Keith Richardson said it was necessary to close the park because of potential litigation against the city.

“The Supreme Court made this determination and we have to protect our taxpayers and citizens,” Richardson said. “We hope they will understand. Until the insurance people get together, we had no other means to keep the skate park open.”

City employees blocked access to the park on Friday afternoon. Local skateboarders and their parents were disappointed to find out what happened.

Topics Lawsuits Legislation

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