California towns ban speedboarding

No doubt there are also other reasons why councilors might vote to keep daredevil and extreme skateboarders off public streets, as the L.A. Times is reporting, but the liability climate can’t help:

In 2004, a 17-year-old boy skating down a Mission Viejo street hit “an alleged defect in the street and took a tumble. In a bicycle he would have rolled right over it,” [self-insurance pool executive Jonathan] Shull said.

The boy suffered a brain injury and his family filed suit, alleging municipal negligence and asking for money to help care for him for the rest of his life.

Under state liability law, a city might have to pay the full settlement if a jury finds it was even 1% liable for the injury, according to Shull.


  • Is this municipal liability provision unique to California? Is it actually true? Sounds like one way to improve the fiscal situation of cities would be to repeal this silly law.

  • People on this blog would enjoy the haunting short story With Folded Hands, by Jack Williamson. It has some scenes eerily reminiscent of these skateboarding bans.

  • defect, huh? Didn’t they mean “pebble?” Stories such as this remove wonder about why The People’s Republic of Kauleefonya are having cash flow problems.

  • …Yes, Sandman, it’s true. The concept is know as joint and severable and it came in during the reign of Jerry Brown, the once and future Governor. Gov. Brown appointed Rose Bird as Chief Justice and she found the then current formula for deciding liabilty unfair.