Sen. Marian Bergeson's commentary concerning public liability and public safety impressed me as a fair and clear analysis of one of the troublesome problems which result from excessive litigation. It seems incomprehensible that by providing the public with some services (such as lifeguards), a beach city becomes liable for any and all accidents that occur on its beach property.
The awarding of $6 million in damages to someone who dives into the ocean and hurts himself is really hard to figure out. If someone dives off a pier into shallow water, would the city be liable for the resulting injuries? What if that person swims too far out to sea and drowns? Must the city pay damages?
I think it's time to stop such folly. As citizens, are we liable for any foolhardy act that occurs in the public domain?
Sen. Bergeson's proposed legislation sounds like a reasonable beginning. It should be given a second chance.
JAMES L. BOONE